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Ubermensch
08-19-2005, 13:44
Some thru-hikers were raving about the new free hostel in Rutland. The keepers were warm and friendly, the food is great, etc.Smoothies, soups, home-made bread. It's good that this religious group has seen fit to provide hospitality to hikers, but a basic internet search turned up some controversial information about their worldwide fellowship and "apostle".

Lone Wolf
08-19-2005, 13:50
Apparently they beat on thier children. I lived in northern Vermont for 10 winters and remember something about the Island Pond sect being prosecuted for abuse.

Lone Wolf
08-19-2005, 14:05
www.rickross.com/reference/tribes/tribes51.html
www.rickross.com/reference/tribes/tribes1.html
Just a whacko cult

neo
08-19-2005, 15:16
that,s scary:cool: neo

justusryans
08-19-2005, 15:38
Apparently they beat on thier children. I lived in northern Vermont for 10 winters and remember something about the Island Pond sect being prosecuted for abuse.
The charges were later dropped, I was living in Vermont while this went on. Apparantly the work of a overzelous prosecuter

Israel
08-19-2005, 17:03
I personally lived with this group for some time and have friends still living with them. I would not advise staying there. They are certainly hospitable but be assured....there is MUCH more to them than meets the eye. Trust me. If anyone wants more info feel free to PM me. The raid in Vermont in the 80's was in fact bogus but trust me- all is not roses as they would have you believe. Lots of mental damage to a lot of people. I can tell you of many people that have served the majority of their adult lives with them, only to be kicked out or force/choose to leave penniless and being told they are going to hell.

Not a good situation. I was not aware they opened a hostel. On the outside they seem like heaven, on the inside it is not the case, though there are some really great people there. Remember...power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! Be sure and ask them who Eugene Spriggs is.

Lilred
08-19-2005, 17:39
That is absolutely frightening. I'm getting visions of the movie, The Lottery. God help those children....

Jack Tarlin
08-19-2005, 17:44
Having met dozens of folks in the past few weeks that met these guys in Rutland, and who, WITHOUT EXCEPTION spoke well of them and of their knindness to hikers, I suggest that some of you try and keep an open mind about this, and acknowledge that there are always two sides to every story and dispute.

Israel
08-19-2005, 20:57
Having met dozens of folks in the past few weeks that met these guys in Rutland, and who, WITHOUT EXCEPTION spoke well of them and of their knindness to hikers, I suggest that some of you try and keep an open mind about this, and acknowledge that there are always two sides to every story and dispute.

Jack, I fully agree with you about keeping your own open mind. The problem with this group is that they are extremely deceptive of the inner life until you are deep into it. I assure you I spent a long time living with them and I have done extensive (and I do mean extensive) research about this group. I have met and talked at length with many, many ex-members. I know quite a few active members. I know families that have people in there. Trust me on this...I know a lot about this group...more than I care to get into in the public forums. Generally speaking, the individuals you will meet are some of the nicest, most sincere, amazing heart felt people you will meet. They live in a community with everyone trying to share. Heck, I personally spent a lot of time in the community in Rutland. I worked in their soap shop, played with their kids, ate many a meal with them, etc. In addition I spent time with them in St. Joseph, MO, and some of the communities in VA. In many, MANY ways, it is the ideal way to live. If they were who they say they are I would be there in a heart beat and would never have left. Their problem is their very subtle control of thought, behavior, environment, and feelings. It is like the old story of the frog in the water...let it boil slowly and they will never notice. I absolutely agree with much of what they say about God, our society (not everything do I agree with though...be sure to ask them about Ham and Shem and the black race! oh my!). I can tell you story after story of real and personal devastation caused in the lives of people who have lived and ultimately left this group. Despite what the community says of it's ex-members, i assure you most of them leave b/c the community takes away the ability to have free will to love God b/c they are too busy towing the party line. I could hike with you for weeks Jack and it would only touch the tip of the iceberg of what this group does to people.

Please click on this link if you want an indepth study of this group:
http://www.neirr.org/mcconclu.html

I absolutely promise you this...there is not a member there that does not in fear that God will kill them if they leave. That is an absolute 100% cold hard fact. I also promise you this...if you visit you will love it. You will think it is the coolest place you have ever visited. You will think they are the coolest people you have ever met. You will love how they dress, how they act, how they treat you. It will feel great. If you are just looking for a relaxed place to stay, by all means it will be that. Just guard your personal freedom. Like Eve and the serpent, things start sounding really, really, really good. Just remember that walking with God is not about an address, it is not about our hair or our clothes or our name...it is about our heart. It is all too easy to hang out with everyone in identicle look and acts and ignore your heart.

Jack, in all respect, I encourage you to be cautious of what you advocate or encourage in this situation without doing a LOT of research. If I told you the many nightmares that have been created, the real, lasting, and deep pain and harm that has been inflicted upon people in this group (most of it all being psychological harm), I assure you you would be much more cautious in your endorsement of them.
Be cautious. They are not satan worships or child beaters or wife beaters (they do actually use a good bit of physical force to keep their kids in check though as a visitor you'd never see it. you will notice you have never met children so quiet and calm to an almost unnatural level). I lived with several christian intentional communities back in the day and trust me...this group excersises behavioral, mental, emotional, and physical control upon it's members at an almost unprecedented level. It's subtly though is almost an art form. I am not some crazy anti-community person that is "jaded" like they say most their ex-members and non-supporters are, but rather, I have lived by their side in a way that very few have done without officially joining and I am tied to the ex-member community of people who struggle to put their lives back together after leaving. If all this sounds odd...just think- when most people decide to leave a church they just leave and move on with their faith in God. When someone leaves this group they typically leave absolutely shatter sprititually and emotionally- living in fear and pain for years afterwards until they have been able to sort through their feelings.

Be cautious. I will see if i can't encourage some of the ex-members I know to register and post a bit of their testimony so that you really will get the other side of the story. I will put every dollar I have to my name down on the bet that you certainly won't hear the other side from the community. Not sure any of them will register though and speak up as they are a bit reclusive and I can't say that I blame them one bit for what they have been put through.

Lone Wolf
08-19-2005, 21:03
They're a ******ing cult preying on weak people. Pretty simple. ****** em. I'd rather hang out with Catholics.

Israel
08-19-2005, 21:06
Lone Wolf,
They are unfortunately a cult but i would say they actually pray on the sincere people who want to make a difference in the world, who want to be doing good things and living a Godly life. Funny you mention catholics too...they despise the catholic religion (actually they believe ALL christian faith protestant or otherwise to be satanic and evil), yet there are so many parrallels between their system and the catholics it is almost ironically funny.

Israel
08-19-2005, 21:24
To put it in a nutshell:

http://www.neirr.org/conclusn.html

To me, the very last sentence of that page says it all.

Sly
08-19-2005, 21:50
Hey Jack,

Why not spend a few months there and let us know how you make out? ;)

HikerHobo
08-19-2005, 21:50
Sounds like the free hostel in Rutland is TOO expensive !

bfitz
08-19-2005, 22:13
Aren't they the same ones who used to recruit in grateful dead show parking lots in a big school bus? We used to call 'em joshuas. Had a brief encounter in '03 where they invited the group I was hiking with to stay, but after we had begun to settle in they wanted to drive the female members of our party to another location "...a few miles away" and would bring them back in the morning. There were no others occupying the space we were going to sleep in, and we all preferred to stay together, but they insisted, so we left. Later we partied with some locals and they told us some pretty weird stories. Nice restaurant though.

Israel
08-19-2005, 22:17
that would be them. They did a lot of evangelizing at dead shows back in the day.

exyathed
08-19-2005, 22:36
I lived in the Twelve Tribes for 7 years and spent 6 months in the community in Rutland working in the cafe and also building the hostel above the cafe. The communities support them selves through different cottage industries but the ONLY reason they have cafes and hostels, they also have a hostel in Nelson BC and many cafes throughout the world,, is to recruit new "disciples". They are definitely a destructive high control group and have destroyed families and damaged many lives. All is not as it seems. The link that Isreal provided is one of the best I know. I actually spent 3 mos at http://www.meadowhaven.org/ to help get my head straight in order to go back into the real world. If anyone has any questions about the TT, feel free to ask.

A friend of mine made this site http://www.twelvetribes-ex.org/ and will tell you the other side of the story that someone here was talking about.

Also if anyone wants to email me privately, my email address is exyathed@yahoo.com

Crazy Larry #1
08-19-2005, 23:33
these guys are definetly a cult......

Icicle
08-20-2005, 02:51
My husband, Snowman, just stayed there a few days ago - taking a zero. He said they were nice and friendly. He was doing *work for stay*. I have to admit after reading their website that I was a little freaked out that he would be staying there...BUT:

My husband is a strong person - both physically and spiritually - so no worries. As someone said - they prey on the weak.

At the end of the day - he got hospitality - a free stay - food - and he got to help them out a bit (he *loves* doing that) - so nothing wrong with that.

As far as recruiting disciples - they won't get much luck with a die hard thru hiker that's made it that far! They hike on.

Let's just see it as any other hostel and leave it at that.

Crazy Larry #1
08-20-2005, 06:38
we have our opinions, so let us at least listen to thiers

http://www.twelvetribes.com/controversies/

Lilred
08-20-2005, 10:12
Let's just see it as any other hostel and leave it at that.


How can you say to see it as any other hostel, knowing how they treat their children?? I don't understand that kind of attitude. I would rather not put my pocketbook before my principles. Sure it's free and the food is free, but as another poster pointed out, sounds way too expensive to me. Now that I know what I know, you won't find me crossing their threshold.

Icicle
08-20-2005, 11:32
How can you say to see it as any other hostel, knowing how they treat their children??
Well as I live outside the USA - I had never heard of them until my husband mentioned that he was going to stay there. He sent me the link to their website and I read through some of there stuff....other than that, the reference to how they treat their children is only coming from you and this thread.

My husband did not mention anything about the way they treat their children and when I spoke to *someone* on the phone there when I called to speak to my husband - they were nothing but polite and went to find him straight away.

If you aren't comfortable staying there - then don't. Unless I experience otherwise - they were polite and nice on the phone and I am sure they are that way in person as well. I make up my own mind and don't let heresay interfere with my own decision about people.

Israel
08-20-2005, 12:55
Well as I live outside the USA - I had never heard of them until my husband mentioned that he was going to stay there. He sent me the link to their website and I read through some of there stuff....other than that, the reference to how they treat their children is only coming from you and this thread.

My husband did not mention anything about the way they treat their children and when I spoke to *someone* on the phone there when I called to speak to my husband - they were nothing but polite and went to find him straight away.

If you aren't comfortable staying there - then don't. Unless I experience otherwise - they were polite and nice on the phone and I am sure they are that way in person as well. I make up my own mind and don't let heresay interfere with my own decision about people.

Icicle, by all means form your own opinion on the matter based on information you are comfortable with. That is one of the great things about your life- you are free to make that decision on your own. If you lived in the community...the leadership would make that decision for you- make no mistake about that.

In regards to the children, you don't think they are dumb enough to do things in front of people they are trying to convince to join their community that they might find offensive do you? Go spend some time there and see what you see....give it about 3 months. Your head will be so messed up though you won't be able to think straight at that time but at least you will have your own experience.

Lastly, none of the statements made by me or exyathed are "heresay." Heresay is what you will hear on the trail...the opinion of someone who had extremely limited contact with them on a one night free stay. Heresay is not factual events based on a long term living with them and knowinng them on a personal level.

Again, anyone who stays there will most likely enjoy their visit. They can be very kind. The issue is not their kindness...the issue is their propensity and deep need for unprecidented control over those who are members there.

bfitz
08-20-2005, 14:25
Whether they beat their children or not, I'd be interested more to hear about the leaderships finances and holdings as well as what members are required to do as far as their own choices about where to work, go to school etc, and what they contribute to the group monetarily and labor-wise. Even presbyterians sometimes beat their kids. It seems to me that most religious groups-including the mainstream ones-have at least a few whacky elements even if they're not full blown whacko cults (like these guys seem to be). Having whacky beliefs isn't a reason to condemn them. I've had few personal experiences with them, but from the dead show parking lots where I first encountered them recruiting drugged out hippies, to the (then fledgeling) hostel experience (earlier described in this thread) to the rumors and stories I have heard from others (including ex-members, and its hard to imagine someone starting websites and recovery organisations just for kicks), they seem to fit the bill of a group to avoid. So far the only evidence to the contrary is the fact that they are polite to potential recruits, and well behaved in public.

Jack Tarlin
08-20-2005, 14:47
Whoa, Israel, I never "endorsed" them. All I was saying is that the conversation seemed to be getting a bit heated and perhaps needed to be toned down a bit. I was commenting based on what I've heard from several dozen hikers who either met these folks or who spent time with them (admittedly not a lot of time), and the comments I got from Northbounders were all positive.

You obviously seem to be unusually well informed about this, so of course I'll defer to you. I make a habit of limiting my comments about folks or places I haven't visited personally, and I certainly don't "endorse" places unless I have first-hand knowledge of the people and places I'm encouraging people to visit.

In this particular matter, I encourage people to get as much information as they can, to pay closer attention to folks who ARE personally knowledgable, and to then make wise and informed decisions on where you want to spend your time.

Rain Man
08-20-2005, 17:05
... just visit the "Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey For The Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups, and Movements" web site at

http://www.rickross.com

Seems ANYBODY not in the fundamentalist mainstream is "destructive" and "controversial" and generally a spawn of Satan, or at least gets painted with the same broad brush.

I'm already starting to LIKE the Twelve Tribes, if RARI is an enemy.

My daughter Grass stayed with them on her way through VT last year, and she liked them so much that she and I stopped off and visited with them on the drive back to Tennessee. Out of the mainstream of American consumerism, conspicuous consumption, faux religious orthodox fundamentalism, and the like? You betcha. Thank God for that.

I'd say their kids have as much chance of choosing a religion as small town Southern Baptist (or you fill in another fundamentalist denomination) kids do. Religious brain-washing is religious brain-washing. Being a 20-year-old cult or a 2,000-year-old cult (a thousand years with the Lord is as a day) if the same if it practices thought control. Many of the mainstream denominations are just as bad in my book.

Rain Man

.

bfitz
08-20-2005, 22:16
I'd say their kids have as much chance of choosing a religion as small town Southern Baptist (or you fill in another fundamentalist denomination) kids do. Religious brain-washing is religious brain-washing. Being a 20-year-old cult or a 2,000-year-old cult (a thousand years with the Lord is as a day) if the same if it practices thought control. Many of the mainstream denominations are just as bad in my book.


I'm already starting to LIKE the Twelve Tribes, if RARI is an enemy

So you like them because they're just as bad as many main stream religions? Or is it that you'd prefer anything to "mainstream American" culture?
Just curious, would you like your daughter to become a member? Is she considering it? Did they try to separate her from any other people she may have been with, or was she already travelling alone? Religions always make me a little leery too, but especially ones with "Inner Circles". I'm not saying, I'm just saying...Religion to me is like relatives...You get what you get. Going out looking for a wierd cult to join is like asking for thanksgiving at mom's to go badly, but then I [was raised] catholic. I guess it still boils down to hike your own life, but there's definitely a weird vibe from the 12 tribes...

Lilred
08-20-2005, 23:03
... just visit the "Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey For The Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups, and Movements" web site at

http://www.rickross.com

Seems ANYBODY not in the fundamentalist mainstream is "destructive" and "controversial" and generally a spawn of Satan, or at least gets painted with the same broad brush.

I'm already starting to LIKE the Twelve Tribes, if RARI is an enemy.

My daughter Grass stayed with them on her way through VT last year, and she liked them so much that she and I stopped off and visited with them on the drive back to Tennessee. Out of the mainstream of American consumerism, conspicuous consumption, faux religious orthodox fundamentalism, and the like? You betcha. Thank God for that.

I'd say their kids have as much chance of choosing a religion as small town Southern Baptist (or you fill in another fundamentalist denomination) kids do. Religious brain-washing is religious brain-washing. Being a 20-year-old cult or a 2,000-year-old cult (a thousand years with the Lord is as a day) if the same if it practices thought control. Many of the mainstream denominations are just as bad in my book.

Rain Man

.

I can't BELIEVE you said these things. Do I really know you? Have you read anything about this group? Have you done any research at all? Take a look at some of the news articles I've found about these guys and tell me you would feel comfortable with Grass joining up with them and having your grandchildren raised there. READ

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&keyword=twelve+tribes&mh=10&sb=4&so=descend&view_records=View+Records



http://www.neirr.org/mcconclu.html

http://www.neirr.org/mcquotes.html

http://twelvetribes-ex.org/articleshow.php?ID=5


These are just a few of the articles I came up with after a 5 minute search. There are other links on these sites you can click on if you really want to be informed.

Oh, and I found only one website, other than the one you showed, that was favorable towards this group. Notice the website you chose prides themselves on religious tolerance. I guess it would hardly surprise anyone that the one website I found was their own website.

Lilred
08-20-2005, 23:51
I can't BELIEVE you said these things. Do I really know you? Have you read anything about this group? Have you done any research at all? Take a look at some of the news articles I've found about these guys and tell me you would feel comfortable with Grass joining up with them and having your grandchildren raised there. READ

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&keyword=twelve+tribes&mh=10&sb=4&so=descend&view_records=View+Records



http://www.neirr.org/mcconclu.html

http://www.neirr.org/mcquotes.html

http://twelvetribes-ex.org/articleshow.php?ID=5


These are just a few of the articles I came up with after a 5 minute search. There are other links on these sites you can click on if you really want to be informed.

Oh, and I found only one website, other than the one you showed, that was favorable towards this group. Notice the website you chose prides themselves on religious tolerance. I guess it would hardly surprise anyone that the one website I found was their own website.


Oh wait, that wasnt' the website you listed. I've looked at so many I got confoooosed. The only other website that was favorable was one that professed religious tolerance.

Rain Man
08-21-2005, 09:40
I can't BELIEVE you said these things. Do I really know you? Have you read anything about this group? Have you done any research at all? Take a look at some of the news articles I've found ...

Hello Mary! Well, I think when you refer to the links you provided as "news articles," you answer my question about whether you have done research.

Yes, there are far too many hate-filled web sites willing to slander anyone not like themselves. The Bible says God is Love. These web sites are far, far from Love. IMHO.

Kinda the exact same problem Christ Jesus ran into, in fact. He's a "cult leader" I happen to admire and respect. But I didn't form that opinion by listening only to the hate-filled Pharisees and Sadducees.

Provide me with some real news articles from bona fide sources without axes to grind, and then we'll have something to discuss. Until then, I give these self-pious cult bashers the credit I think they deserve. NONE.

Now you know some tidbit more about me! I have a sense of fair play.

Rain:sunMan

.

justusryans
08-21-2005, 10:25
I'd say their kids have as much chance of choosing a religion as small town Southern Baptist (or you fill in another fundamentalist denomination) kids do. Religious brain-washing is religious brain-washing. Being a 20-year-old cult or a 2,000-year-old cult (a thousand years with the Lord is as a day) if the same if it practices thought control. Many of the mainstream denominations are just as bad in my book.
I lived in Vermont for 20 years, while I was there the Twelve Tribes were constantly being investigated for child abuse, child labor, kidnapping , unsafe medical practices, ie not immunising children. Many ex cult members have come forward and testified about the abuse that goes on within the cult. The leader of the cult owns mansions around the world while his followers live in very basic housing. He claims to have a personal pipeline to God. He preaches intolerance, homophobia,and racism.

Any religion that trys to control what you think makes me nervous. The power to think for yourself is the greatest gift God gave us. Fundamentalists of ANY religion, Muslim, Hebrew, Christianity, ect.. make me nervous. They are so sure of their own rightousness that they don't have room in their tiny little minds for any thoughts other than what they are told to think.

The head of a church who lives in such contrast to his followers is a warning sign. This is not just limited to cults, any religious leader that lives like that is not following Christ. I understand ministers need to support their families. When I see a church leader driving a $80,000 vehicle I question whether his motivation is to teaching Christ's message or lining his pockets at the churches expense. I feel this money should be used to help the poor and disadvantaged, to help the elderly, to sponser youth groups, ect...

I live in the Bible Belt. Most of my neighbor are Baptist, these people are the salt of the earth. They love their families, their children, their neighbors. They go out of their way to help others out. They're ministers drive 10 year old pick-ups and sedans.
Intolerance comes cloaked in all religions, not just Baptist.

Lilred
08-21-2005, 10:45
Hello Mary! Well, I think when you refer to the links you provided as "news articles," you answer my question about whether you have done research.


Rain Man,
The very first link I have in my post leads you to, and quotes articles found in the New York Post, The Boston Herald, The Associated Press, MSNBC, Excite/Courier (England), The Guardian (Australia), and The New York Times. These aren't reputable "news articles" in your mind? Did you even read any of the links I posted or did you just read the URL address.

Not to mention the testimonials found on this thread. Or do you think these folks are lying too.

Perhaps your sense of fair play is clouded by your wonderful experience with these people.

Icicle
08-21-2005, 14:07
Excite/Courier (England), The Guardian (Australia),
I live in England and Excite/Courier is not a newspaper that I have ever heard of...

As far as the Guardian...if you want to read a more hate filled anti-everything newspaper - you won't find it! The Guardian likes to spew it's hatred (funny enough normally aimed at all things American) and pass it off as *news*.

So since you found your sources from these *reputable* sources...I am inclined to disregard your whole arguement.

Just because it's in print - does not make it truth....

Israel
08-21-2005, 14:46
Rainman and Icicle,
By all means you are 100% entitled to your opinion. Again- that is one of the freedoms you have by not living with this group. You presuppose that the ones who offer some less than steller information about this group "have an axe to grind." Judge for yourself if I sound bitter or if those who have dealt with years of devestation are making up their experiences or not. As previously stated, when you first meet them you will find them to be the best people you have ever met. When you visit with them and the evening hour rolls around..ask the member who is hanigng out with you to go on a spontaneous walk around town without asking anyone and see what happens. Ask them about the person who couldn't make up their mind to live there or not, decided to go climb mount washington and then suddenly "died" (story personally relayed to be many times to convince me not to leave).

I could go on but it seems your minds are made up and I am absolutely fine with that. Our lives are formed by our past, present, and future experiences. Maybe joing the TT is in the deck of cards for you. Best of luck to you. As for me, I firmly believe that God can only truly operate and dwell when our hearts are freely open to him and we do not live in fear of his killing us if we alter our address. I do not believe God called us to subjegate our personal decision making process to our "covering" for every little thing. And yes, I don't believe God cares whether we use more than 3 pieces of toilet paper per session (talk about micro-management of the leadership!). And yes, I believe it is a God given right for parents to name their own children whatever they want without being told/strongly suggested by others what the name should be, and I also believe that a man and woman should be able to spend time directly with their children instead of working from dawn until after dark day in and day out. It all boils down to the control of the leadership. The general member is not involved with those decisions but they are certainly subjected to them. Their freedom is an extremely controlled freedom. Ask one of the members to go hike with you one on one for 3 days and see if they can go. Ask how many people really write the teachings they abide by.
I have no axe to grind with them. I genuinily like how they live. I like how they dress. I like their order of worship (minus the compulsary aspect of it). They would say that my feeling it is compulsary shows that I don't have the right spirit though sinec they are big into saying if you question or disagree with them you are demon possessed and from evil intent. I live a simple life outside the community relatively free of commercialism. If they ever loose their unhealthy and unglodly need to control I will most likely be their the next day. Note that it took me months and months to really recognize the control that goes on there. Subsequent to leaving there I spent a lot of time researching other groups and the techniques of control that I experienced while living there. At the end of that I found that they are one of the most comprehensive users of thought, behavior, emotional, and phyiscal control of any group out there.
If you want to know what it is really like to be in the TT, you need to talk with them and you need to talk to folks that have lived there- and not just one person who has lived there, but as many as you can meet. I have spent time with people who were born and raised there, time with people who were there from day #1 in Chattanooga, time with people who were there briefly,etc. Most of them are some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Some maybe do have an axe to grind but who can fault them...they gave years and years of their life, their blood, sweat, and tears, only to leave there with nothing but a hurting heart, a very confused mind, and being told by all their best friends who supposedly "loved" them that they were going to hell. I don't know about you but if i truly love a friend of mine he could rob me blind, kick me in the teeth, and I would still tell him and show them that I love them. As best as I am able, my love for others is not contingent. I can personally tell you that the people who knew be there and treated me so kind and with such love...once they learned i decided to leave to sort things out...those same people literally came to me and told me i was evil and without a shadow of a doubt going to hell and that I had better watch my step b/c God would kill me. Unfortunately, that is an absolute fact. Please tell me how that is a defensable event and the hallmark of a great and kind people!

At any rate, this discussion could go on and on. If you want to believe in them then more power to you. I have no doubt their hostel is cool, hip, comfortable, and enjoyable...most of their public spaces are somewhat unlike most the places you will go. For some people it will be their first exposure to non-materialism, some kind of faith in God (albiet mixed in with a bunch of toalitarian control), and simple living. These, minus the totalitarian control, are good things. I agree 100% with them up until you throw in the complete loss of free will and inhumane totalitarianism.

justusryans
08-21-2005, 15:23
Too many Americans fought and died for our freedom for me to arbitrarily give up those freedoms to join a freaking cult. How retarded can you be. I guess this is Darwins theory of natural selection in action! dumbasses!:datz

Icicle
08-21-2005, 15:23
I could go on but it seems your minds are made up and I am absolutely fine with that. Well that's where you are mistaken. I have never had an opinion other than to say that they were friendly on the phone with me and that my husband enjoyed staying there. Any other issues I wouldn't make up my mind unless I had personally researched them.

The only reason I bothered to post here again was to show that someone quoting the Guardian newspaper and another paper that does not actually exsist in this country has a faulty arguement and source.


Too many American servicemembers fought and died Gentle reminder that it's not only American service members dying for whatever arguement that you are trying to defend.

bogey
08-21-2005, 16:09
Well that's where you are mistaken. I have never had an opinion other than to say that they were friendly on the phone with me and that my husband enjoyed staying there. Any other issues I wouldn't make up my mind unless I had personally researched them.

The only reason I bothered to post here again was to show that someone quoting the Guardian newspaper and another paper that does not actually exsist in this country has a faulty arguement and source.

Gentle reminder that it's not only American service members dying for whatever arguement that you are trying to defend.Icicle, that's a mighty big OOPS from our side of the pond. I for one am not familiar with all the legitimate "news" publications my own country, not to mention those in your country, so when I see all the references and quotes, I MIGHT be inclined to believe what I read.

Having chosen a lousy reference doesn't negate the validity of Israel's statements and conviction, but it does risk the believability of the argument. We just have to try to be more aware and responsible in our reporting, or everyone will assume that the whole story is a lie, right?

re your Gentle reminder that it's not only American service members dying for whatever arguement that you are trying to defend..[/QUOTE]Amen to that! We're praying for ALL our servicepeople.

and are your countrymen as up in arms and vocal as ol' what'shername here?

regards,
bernie

Icicle
08-21-2005, 16:26
and are your countrymen as up in arms and vocal as ol' what'shername here?
I am American.

No people here are not happy about the world situation at the moment especially since the terrorist bombings in London a month ago.

As far as vocal - American bashing is a national sport here.

Tha Wookie
08-21-2005, 16:30
Having met dozens of folks in the past few weeks that met these guys in Rutland, and who, WITHOUT EXCEPTION spoke well of them and of their knindness to hikers, I suggest that some of you try and keep an open mind about this, and acknowledge that there are always two sides to every story and dispute.
VERY wise words from Jack

Lilred
08-21-2005, 17:12
I live in England and Excite/Courier is not a newspaper that I have ever heard of...

As far as the Guardian...if you want to read a more hate filled anti-everything newspaper - you won't find it! The Guardian likes to spew it's hatred (funny enough normally aimed at all things American) and pass it off as *news*.

So since you found your sources from these *reputable* sources...I am inclined to disregard your whole arguement.

Just because it's in print - does not make it truth....
\the NY times, NY Post and MSNBC are very reputable news agencies in the USA. So is the Boston Herald as far as I know. The foreign papers I had also never heard of, just listed them as sources being quoted. Since I found those two listed along with these others does not negate my whole arguement.

MOWGLI
08-21-2005, 17:19
\the NY times, NY Post and MSNBC are very reputable news agencies in the USA.

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. The NY Post is a tabloid owned by Ruppert Murdock. Other than the fact that they have a pretty good sports section, the paper is pretty useless - unless you need something to line the litter box with.

Jack Tarlin
08-21-2005, 18:16
Guy's name is actually Rupert Murdoch.

And the Post has some excellent columnists as well as a good sports page; for example Ralph Peters is one of the nation's top experts on military affairs and national defense; columnist Uri Dan is unusually well-versed on the Middle East.

If you want to get opinions other than, say, Maureen Dowd or Frank Rich, you have to branch out from the Times. I like to hear several viewpoints and voices, so I think it's good to read a variety of papers.

Oh, another admirable thing about the Post. Their chief gossip columnist, Richard Johnson, absolutely vows to NOT write anything about Paris Hilton, EVER.

Now THAT'S a journalist worthy of the name.

MOWGLI
08-21-2005, 18:33
Guy's name is actually Rupert Murdoch.

And the Post has some excellent columnists as well as a good sports page; for example Ralph Peters is one of the nation's top experts on military affairs and national defense; columnist Uri Dan is unusually well-versed on the Middle East.

If you want to get opinions other than, say, Maureen Dowd or Frank Rich, you have to branch out from the Times. I like to hear several viewpoints and voices, so I think it's good to read a variety of papers.

Oh, another admirable thing about the Post. Their chief gossip columnist, Richard Johnson, absolutely vows to NOT write anything about Paris Hilton, EVER.

Now THAT'S a journalist worthy of the name.

FYI, I don't read the NY Times for the opinion pieces. In fact, I rarely read Frank Rich, and haven't read Maureen Dowd in a couple of years.

I have no problem with folks who enjoy the Post. I just don't like tabloid journalism, and if something important occurs outside the world of sports, I like to read more than 4-5 paragraphs about the story. That's about all the the Post offers.

BTW, the Times regularly offers viewpoints other than left of center - including the likes of William Safire. Did I spell that correctly Jack?

Also, Elie Wiesel has a column in todays paper about the Gaza Strip. It's worth a look.

Jack Tarlin
08-21-2005, 19:45
Geez, I didn't say I read the Post INSTEAD of the Times; I read it in addition, in order to get a different viewpoint.

And yup, you spelled Safire right. I'm glad you're so well informed on him and his writing; you're evidently unaware that he retired from the Times last January and no longer has a political column, tho he'll still be doing a column on language and word origins for the Sunday paper.

But at least you got his name right.

Lilred
08-21-2005, 20:20
ok so what I'm getting from this thread is that you can't believe what you read in the papers, what you read on websites, and what you read from first hand experience. OK I'll shut up now.

Icicle
08-22-2005, 05:24
- unless you need something to line the litter box with.
That's a good use for The Guardian as well. I wouldn't ever recommend anyone, especially an American, to ever read the Guardian. You would be so angry after the first few sentences of *any* column to literally set fire to the damn thing! I have never come across a paper filled with more hatred.

MOWGLI
08-22-2005, 06:25
And yup, you spelled Safire right. I'm glad you're so well informed on him and his writing; you're evidently unaware that he retired from the Times last January and no longer has a political column, tho he'll still be doing a column on language and word origins for the Sunday paper.

But at least you got his name right.

Ah Jack, at least you are consistent! Like I said, I don't read the Times for the opinion pieces (post #43). I read it for the national and international news, art, and the science section on Tuesdays, and the sports. I also yearn to be able to finish the crossword puzzle post-Tuesday. Progress - not perfection. That's my motto! And yes, I too read other sources. I just try to avoid the "Jonah Goldbergs" of the journailstic world. They just don't titillate me.

I would HIGHLY recomend the piece in yesterdays NY Times magazine on oil by Peter Maass. It'll certainly abre los ojos. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/magazine/21OIL.html

bogey
08-22-2005, 09:43
I am American.. sorry, thought I detected an accent:p


As far as vocal - American bashing is a national sport here.[/QUOTE] It's the national sport EVERYWHERE!

Icicle
08-22-2005, 09:55
sorry, thought I detected an accent:p
Funny you should say that - when we started hiking in March we had Dorothy & Toto really confused...they thought I was English and couldn't figure out how/why my mother lived in Florida and was born in Michigan and yet I was English!!

We are also mentioned on a couple of trail journals as a *nice English couple* - when in fact I am American and my husband is Welsh (little country to the west of England).

Jack Tarlin
08-22-2005, 12:46
I'm glad Mowgli thinks I'm consistent.

In order to bolster his argument that the Times "regularly offers viewpoints other than left of center" he informs us about the presence of a noted conservative columnist who's actually been absent from their editorial page for the better part of a year. Hmmm. Doesn't sound like he's much of a regular contributor anymore, eh?

Gee, lemme get this staight so I'm clear on this. The Times has many non-right wing "regular" columnists; unfortunately, Mowgli can't name even one. Gee, sure sounds fair and balanced to me!

Mowgli further tells us that he avoids their political commentary, saying "I don't read the Times for the opinion pieces."

Well, that's fine. Read what you like. But I'm curious: If you admittedly don't read the political pieces, Mowgli, then how on earth can you claim to speak with any authority or reliability on how open-minded their editorial department is? I mean, in that you've acknowledged (twice) that you don't read the Times for its political stuff, then where do you get off telling us what they "regularly" publish? It's kinda hard to discuss what they're printing if you make a practice of avoiding reading it, no? Seems to me, you'd be better qualified to intelligently discuss what's in the Times if you actually bothered to read what's in it, but maybe that's just me.


Well, Mowgli, you're pretty consistent too! You consistently say some pretty silly things.

MOWGLI
08-22-2005, 13:03
Oh Jack, thank you so very much for straightening me out. Tonite before I go to sleep, I'll get down on my knees and pray that someday - I can be half as smart and open minded as you.

Tha Wookie
08-22-2005, 13:21
I'm glad Mowgli thinks I'm consistent.

In order to bolster his argument that the Times "regularly offers viewpoints other than left of center" he informs us about the presence of a noted conservative columnist who's actually been absent from their editorial page for the better part of a year. Hmmm. Doesn't sound like he's much of a regular contributor anymore, eh?

Gee, lemme get this staight so I'm clear on this. The Times has many non-right wing "regular" columnists; unfortunately, Mowgli can't name even one. Gee, sure sounds fair and balanced to me!

Mowgli further tells us that he avoids their political commentary, saying "I don't read the Times for the opinion pieces."

Well, that's fine. Read what you like. But I'm curious: If you admittedly don't read the political pieces, Mowgli, then how on earth can you claim to speak with any authority or reliability on how open-minded their editorial department is? I mean, in that you've acknowledged (twice) that you don't read the Times for its political stuff, then where do you get off telling us what they "regularly" publish? It's kinda hard to discuss what they're printing if you make a practice of avoiding reading it, no? Seems to me, you'd be better qualified to intelligently discuss what's in the Times if you actually bothered to read what's in it, but maybe that's just me.


Well, Mowgli, you're pretty consistent too! You consistently say some pretty silly things.
Jack, you are so hung up on the "left and right" linear scale you miss so much, my friend. I admit that I succumb to the same worthless labeling from time to time.

Political commentary opinion peices in media sources is not the place to get information on what really matters. I challenge you to stop reading them, for they and most everything else out there is poison. They are things you cannot control, and they distract from what is around you. It is no different than watching a football game, on the sidelines, with no influence on the outcome, but still the rules and parameters set from other people to get what they need out of you. You seem so much more an intelligent person than that.....

...and I think Mowgli is definitely one of the better people on this site for saying sound things, without offending people. I'm shocked that your tone is so bitter to him.

abre los ojos.....:eek:

wacocelt
08-22-2005, 13:45
I stayed at the Back Home Again Hostel in Rutland a few weeks ago. They are very accomodating and polite people. The location and appearance of thier hostel is impeccable, however, I did feel that they are trying to convince any and all hikers to stay as absolutely long as possible, not just to rest up for furture hiking.
I was invited to and attended two of thier daily gatherings (2 gatherings are held at 7am and 7 pm) because I felt that the folks were sincere and didn't want to seem rude. The over all feeling I got, despite all of the people being sincerely polite and helpful, put me on edge.

Jack Tarlin
08-22-2005, 16:20
Wookie:

This is a really silly thing to be arguing over. I'm not "hung up" on the left and right thing. I'm a registered Independent. I have no attachment to any party or particular philosophy; I've voted for all sorts of people over the years.

My recent posts were merely in response to Mowgli's comments about the New York Times. In defending their supposed open-mindedness, Mowgli opined that they regularly ran non-liberal political commentary.

I happen to question whether or not this is true.

They have almost NOBODY on staff who is consistently conservative; most of their regular featured columnists are extremely left of center.

Anyway, to bolster his comments, Mowgli offered up William Safire as an example. He didn't offer up anyone else, probably because he couldn't think of anyone else to offer. And as I've previously pointed out, Safire hasn't even had a political column for over half a year, so I think it's kind of odd to cite him as a regularly featured political commentator.

Mowgli then told us that he didn't much read the political stuff in the Times anyway, and preferred other sections.

Here's my point, Wookie, sorry you evidently missed it:

1. If his original argument is true, i.e. that the Times regularly features
non-leftist political commentary, it's pretty obvious that Mowgli seems
to have a problem proving this contention....so far, he's cited the "regular
presence in their editorial staff room of one retired guy.

2. Admitting that he doesn't read the Times political columns or editorials
hardly helps his credibility when it comes to discussing the fairness and
even-handedness of the newspaper's editorial policies. How on earth can
he tell us how "fair" their political writing is when he admits he doesn't
bother to read it read it? Been awhile since I took Journalism 101, Wook,
but it seems to me that folks who wanna be Media Critics might come off
a bit better if they were actually familiar with the entity that they're
discussing.




So sorry if you think my tone is bitter, Wookie, but Mowgli likes lecturing people here, especially on political matters. In this case, it's obvious that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

If he'd limited his comments to subjects he's actually qualified to discuss, then my criticism of his posts wouldn't have been necessary. Or when it was pointed out to him that he was unqualified to make certain comments or pass certain judgments, it would have been nice if he had the humility to admit it.

Mowgli thinks the Times is nicely balanced when it comes to political commentary, but he can't name any regulalrly featured conservative staffers or columnists. He also makes comments like this despite the fact that he doesn't read the material under discussion, or reads it so infrequently that he's unaware of who actually still works at the paper.

Bitter, Wookie? No, I'm merely pointing out that I don't particularly think Mowgli is much of an authority on America's newspaper of record, and should therefore refrain from telling us how fair and even-handed they are. There are many subjects he's undoubtedly qualified to discuss, but the editorial policies of the New York Times aren't one off them.

MOWGLI
08-22-2005, 16:57
Mowgli thinks the Times is nicely balanced when it comes to political commentary, but he can't name any regulalrly featured conservative staffers or columnists. He also makes comments like this despite the fact that he doesn't read the material under discussion, or reads it so infrequently that he's unaware of who actually still works at the paper.

Bitter, Wookie? No, I'm merely pointing out that I don't particularly think Mowgli is much of an authority on America's newspaper of record, and should therefore refrain from telling us how fair and even-handed they are. There are many subjects he's undoubtedly qualified to discuss, but the editorial policies of the New York Times aren't one off them.

My final thoughts on the subject Jack. A few days ago you asked me not to put words in your mouth. Now you do that to me by saying "Mowgli thinks the Times is nicely balanced when it comes to political commentary". That is not what I said at all. I said "the Times regularly offers viewpoints other than left of center." There is a big difference between what I said, and what you said. I said nothing about "balance." In fact, I made a point of saying I don't regularly read their editorials (excepting Thomas Friedman). That is not what draws me to the paper.

Now, I am not going to get in a tit for tat with you on this one, 'cause frankly, I've got more important things to do (I stole that one from your playbook :D). I do happen to think that the NY Times news reporting is arguably the finest in the nation. And that comes from being a regular reader from New York for the last 15 or so years. And I would stack up my knowledge of current events - both national & international - and my ability to discuss them in an even-handed manner with most anyone on this site - including Jack Tarlin. And you can quote me on that one. ;)

The Solemates
08-22-2005, 17:02
ok ok, so its obvious ya'll both read the paper too much and both think you are experts on politics. who cares! go hiking...

Israel
08-22-2005, 17:42
I don't know guys...i think i may need to call Homeland Security- this thread has been hijacked!!!

:D :D :D :D :D

MOWGLI
08-22-2005, 18:15
ok ok, so its obvious ya'll both read the paper too much and both think you are experts on politics. who cares! go hiking...

Yup, I think you have a point - except I ain't no expert. Just informed. And if it wasn't so bloody hot in Tennessee, I'd be on the trail right now.

Jack Tarlin
08-23-2005, 13:51
Glad to hear your last words on the subject, Mowgli, here are mine.....

You weren't misquoted.

You said that the Times regularly published viewpoints that weren't left of center.

I disagree with you, and am still yet to see you provide us with any reason whatsoever to make us think your original statement was correct.

To bolster this bold statement, you provided us with exactly ONE conservative voice that appeared regularly on their pages.

It was pointed out to that your one measly example doesn't even write politics for the paper anymore. So where are the "regular" opposing voices, Mowgli, since you've told us repeatedly that there are plenty of them?

You further said (twice, as I recall; you really wanted to make sure we understood this point) that you don't read the Times for it's political commentary.

To which I raised the point, and it's a perfectly valid one, why should we think you're fit to discuss the contents of the New York Times when you
stress the point that avoid reading large sections of it?

My final words on this: I don't think the paper regularly publishes non-liberal columns and columnists; I don't think Mowgli provided any reason for us to think otherwise, and I think he made it clear thru his own words that he's not exactly in the best position to be telling us what a great paper it is since he's repeatedly told us that while he's a longtime reader, he deliberately skips the precise part of the paper he's attempting to educate us about.

Oh, and lastly, I think he has a really big problem admitting when he's wrong.

Geez, he tells us their reporting is "arguably the finest in the nation?"

How the hell would he know when he doesn't bother to read it?

I stand by my original comments; Mowgli might be an expert on all sorts of things, or he'd like to think so, but the New York Times isn't one of them.

Bye, now. Time for me to finish today's Times. All of it. And then go for a hike.

Youngblood
08-23-2005, 20:58
I stayed at the Back Home Again Hostel in Rutland a few weeks ago. They are very accomodating and polite people. The location and appearance of thier hostel is impeccable, however, I did feel that they are trying to convince any and all hikers to stay as absolutely long as possible, not just to rest up for furture hiking.
I was invited to and attended two of thier daily gatherings (2 gatherings are held at 7am and 7 pm) because I felt that the folks were sincere and didn't want to seem rude. The over all feeling I got, despite all of the people being sincerely polite and helpful, put me on edge.
Dang Chris, you've had an interesting year... you go through all this stuff every year? <that is joke from a movie> If the old saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is true, you should be pretty strong. Hope your injuries are healing fine and that your luck improves... you are due a few good breaks.

Youngblood

davidderush
11-11-2005, 17:30
I find it sad that people are willing to believe the worst about people that they have never personally met. I live in a Twelve Tribes community myself...and I love it. I have been in our community in Rutland, VT, many times...and there are some of the best people on earth there.
It is crazy to judge a whole tribe of people based on complaints and distortions from a few people who have left. Of course they don't like our life...they LEFT!
It would be like judging the worth of hiking the AT by talking to a couple of dozen people who dropped out after 3 days.
What about the thousands of people who are in our life, and love it? That even those who have posted badly about us on this board, freely admit are wonderful, kind and loving people?

If anyone has any questions for me about us, they can write to me at david@parchmentpress.net

Sincerely, David

Israel
11-11-2005, 18:01
Hi David,
Very nice of you to drop by and put in your two cents worth. Would you be so kind as to tell the story that is often told in the tribes about the woman who thought about joining but decided to climb Mt. Washington one more time before committing and subsequently died on that climb, thereby proving that the tribes are the only safe place to be?

David, your comments above kind of indicate that the people who leave you do so easily and happily. Maybe you can just clear it up with one easy answer to one easy question: must one live and and be baptised into the twelve tribes communities in order to be saved and/or have a direct, real, lasting, living, meaningful, and dynamic saving relationship with their creator?

It would be nice to finally here the community come out and publicly state how they really feel about the twelve tribes being the only route to salvation on the planet. Usually they give the party line of "those seeking God will be just like us," etc. etc. Why not at least be honest so that the people who join you can at least know what they are getting into?

Old Spice
11-11-2005, 22:52
I used to travel around with the rainbow family as a teenager. Even the rainbow kids thought these people were a little off. Not to mention the fact, that from a theological point of view, their exegetical skills are horrible... Regardless of whether you are an evangelical or liberal Christian. Not that this should be held against them. But from my experience, if you can't read a book without having to twist it's plain meaning around, then how are you going to handle your personal affairs with integrity? Not to mention the fact that my roommate lost his father to them, when they told him that he had to abandon his family in order to fully devote himself to God. It's a hell of a sad story, and if I can convince him to hike with me, then maybe some of you will get to hear it. I am going to stay at there hostel, but I am quite sure the only reason they have one is for purposes of converting hikers.

Israel
11-11-2005, 23:38
I am going to stay at there hostel, but I am quite sure the only reason they have one is for purposes of converting hikers.


ya think so???!!

Um, yeah!

DavidNH
11-11-2005, 23:54
I was at the ALDHA gathering this October in Hanover. Some people there said they were from twelve tribes and were starting up a hostel in rutland and i think one in Whitefield NH or there abouts. They seemed like the nicest people one could imagine. Especially this one girl ..name was Patience I believe. She seemed really sweet! But then later i did a internet search on www.twelvetribes.com (http://www.twelvetribes.com) and it seems a bit cultish..at least not like the main line religious groups. And posts in this thread are really scarry about these folks.

Isreal.. if you wouldnt mind.. i would like to know more of your experiences. you are welcome to send me private message or email.
i get the impression from your and other posts in this thread..that these folks real you in with generosity then dont really let you go or set you free!

In anycase..when I do the AT..I plan to stay at the Inn at the Long Trail. I was there when I did the LT and man that place is amazing! just heaven for a hiker!!!

DavidNH

CynJ
11-12-2005, 00:14
Religious fanatisism (sp?) of any flavor really turns me off - especially since I am an agnostic bordering on outright athesim :D But that being said - I am respectful of other people's faith.

If they run a nice hostel and aren't konking people on the head and spiriting them away in the middle of the night I don't see anything wrong with using it.

Because I am secure in my own belief system I have absolutely no worries about being "recruited' or "drawn into the fold".

Cults/fanatisism really look for those people that are, for lack of a better word, lost. Unhappy people at home, school, work. Impressionable kids looking for a purpose and a direction. People that have hit rock bottom and don't see another way. If you are secure and confident in yourself you will not be drawn in.

And on a side note - always follow your personal safety radar. If something doesn't feel right then leave.

Sly
11-12-2005, 00:34
In anycase..when I do the AT..I plan to stay at the Inn at the Long Trail. I was there when I did the LT and man that place is amazing! just heaven for a hiker!!!

Blasphemer, sinner! < just joking! > :)

One Leg
11-12-2005, 01:37
I've just spent the last 3 and a half hours chasing the links that you guys have posted here, and I'm amazed.

I'm well aware of the fact that some viewed my family as being 'way out there' with our way of life, choice of beliefs, etc., but I couldn't believe what I was reading regarding the "Twelve Tribes".

Leisa and I joined an Independent Baptist Church back in 2001 that was very militant in their beliefs and ways of doing things. We remained a part of that church for a period of 2 years, but left because I am a nonconformist when it comes to someone trying to pass off their own personal preferences as being Biblical convictions. I don't know that I would personally define it as being a "cult", but my parents certainly felt that it was. I'm just glad that I got out when I did. I retain friendships with several of the families who still are members, but from this point forward, we will always be outsiders looking in. I don't take too kindly to have someone tell me that I'm living in sin if I have a Christmas tree in my home during the Christmas season, or that I am out of the will of God because I choose to practice birth control, not trusting God for my family size. These, I believe, are preferences rather than convictions, and personal ones at that!

My children, all 7 of them, seem to be a happy lot. They have duties, responsibilities, and obligations, but they are still allowed to be children. I can't imagine rearing my children without affording them the opprotunity to explore, imagine, be creative, and form their own opinions. I'm not the best parent in the world, I make mistakes, but I love my children, and they love me. I don't know that one could hope for much more than that. I don't expect them to share my opinions or beliefs; and when they grow to adulthood, should they choose a different path, it will diminish my love for them not one ounce.

I feel sorry for the Tribe children. From what I've read, they are proverbial zombies, and aren't allowed to express themselves in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Why is it that it's the children who always seem to suffer the worse? Adults can make decisions: they can leave if they want to. The children are the ones without a voice, and this disturbs me. What's to become of them?

In 1993, a fellow by the name of Malachai York moved his commune to the tiny central Georgia town of Eatonton (Putnam County). He bought a 400+ acre farm, and created his own version of Egypt. He set himself up as "God", and everyone who joined his group signed everything they owned over to him. He was recently convicted on several counts of child molestation, and was given a prison sentence that amounts to hundreds of years behind bars. His latest appeal was denied; the sentence was affirmed.

It's just a damn shame that innocent children, being lead like sheep, are the true victims in these types of cases. They're the ones without voices, and, again, this is what I find to be the mose disturbing aspect of all. For, they will become adults, and unless something drastic is done, the cycle will continue to repeat......

-Scott

justusryans
11-12-2005, 03:21
It is a shame, I'm a live and let live kind of guy but these guys set off my radar.

TAMBOURINE
11-12-2005, 08:21
They're a ******ing cult preying on weak people. Pretty simple. ****** em. I'd rather hang out with Catholics. (((LOL)))I"M with you lone ...

TAMBOURINE
11-12-2005, 08:28
sounds like some Montel Williams sh**..You would never think stuff like this still goes on it is very sad and the poor children.......

Wolf - 23000
11-12-2005, 10:19
Davidderush, you make a good point about believing the worst about people they have never personal met, but enough people have some very NEGATIVE things to say about the Twelve Tribes even when it is free - include me in that list.

I’ve have never stayed at the community in Rutland, VT but I have stayed in the one in Cambridge, NY several times as well as gone down to Washington, DC met many of their members for their annual gathering. We may have even met. At that time I had a very dear friend of over 12 years who was part of the Community.

Were to start? Should I start with how controlling members are especial towards the women. Should we ask why a woman should always submit to the will of the man? Or why a woman’s place is doing "woman chores" such as clean, raise the children, kitchen duty. Or why even giving a long time good friend a plutonic hug is frown upon by tribe members?

Should we discuses why my friend had to close out her hotmail account to change to an email accounts set up and completely control by a Tribe administrator member. I did not think any of it until several of my emails seem to have disappeared. Someone had opened them but it wasn’t her. Any ideas what happen to them???

Should we talk about the children who seem to help out A LOT with “chores” such as farm chores, or making soap but never have any toys to play with? No dolls, or footballs, baseball or even a Frisbee to through around. Nothing you would expect to help the children have a normal childhood. Being of good nature, I made it a habit of bring several toys for the children during each visit, but they seem to disappear the next day.

Oh what happens to the children pass around the 8 grade when it comes to school? The children around 15 up I saw were working when they should have been in school.

Should I go into why a place that supposes to be all about love but told my friend of 12 years repeatly to break off all relations with me when I would not join the Community. "We are called to build bridges, not walls" - or did someone forget that.

I will discourage anyone from having anything to do with them and encourages others to do the same.

Wolf
AT * 5

Israel
11-12-2005, 10:58
Wolf (and one-leg),
you realize all you say will be filtered into David's mind and translated into Tribe-Speak...everything you said will be construed to show how you are both overly selfish, depraved, self-loving, God-hating, in the clutches of the evil one and this culture, deluded, confused, un-understanding, and lost? The fact that you think children should be allowed to play just shows how earthly minded you are instead of Godly minded! Heck- we are rebuilding God's kingdom on earth and all you care about is tossing a frisbee?? We are trying to resore loving relationships and all you care about is the offense of women doing dishes...obviously you are both SO caught up in the political spirit that dominates this world. You do not see what you were created to be...you were both created to be a man with a pony tail and a beard and wear long shirts and have lots of children and don't let them play but be sure to enforce very strict rules (in fact, since we are a community, we will let everyone be responsible for disciplining your children), and if you really loved your wife you would adhere to the teachings on women...why don't you love your wife enough to want to see her restored to the kingdom???? You are both just a couple of self-righteous heathens and you need to come to the tribes to learn how to be what you were created to be b/c apart from us, the Holy Spirit cannot be found. The church you go to, the prayers you pray...you are actually praying to a false God and to dark forces.



Of course, everything i say will be construed to be a jaded person who hates God and that is why i don't live with them...afterall they DID tell me i was going to hell when i decided to leave.

The saddest part is indeed the children. As well, it is so sad to see so many beautiful people enslaved to a system that is very, very different than when it began. Tribes, return to your first love and become what you desired in your heart. Someone mentioned catholics previously and i tell you what...despite how much the tribes hate the catholics, it is amazing how much the really resemble that structure now.

Marta
11-12-2005, 11:12
I had never heard of the Tribe until I started reading this thread this morning. However, my family and I lived in Western KY for a number of years and while there we spent quite a lot of time with people who belonged to groups I consider to be cults.

Our kids were born in Western KY. We decided to home school the kids back in the mid-80s because the local public schools sucked and there were no nonparochial private schools in the area. Back then, home schooling was NOT primarily a religious thing.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that by being a home schooling parent, I spent quite a lot of time with other home schooling parents and their children. Most of them in that area were doing it for religious reasons and were involved in some very cultish groups. In fact, I was quite surprised to find out how cultish the local Mennonites, Seventh Day Adventists, and some other long-established religious groups were. Many of the things people are mentioning with regard to the Tribes (ending schooling at an early age, requiring submissiveness from women, persuading prospective members to minimize and then cut ties to non-cult family and friends, etc.) were practiced by these groups.

What appealed to my friends/acquaintances about these groups were their family-like closeness and supportiveness, and the seeming purity and purposefullness of their lives. Of course, to get the benefits you have to give up a few things...

I have to say that most of the children my kids knew then ended up running away from their parents and splitting from the churches of their childhoods. Yes, they had miserable, overly-controlled childhoods, but no, they did not end up as brainwashed automatons.

The Old Fhart
11-12-2005, 12:19
While almost all of the post here on either side are slanted one way or the other, I suggest going to this site (http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/tribes.html) to get some background on the Twelve Tribes group and some factual history. The site is The Religious Movements Homepage Project at The University of Virginia and probably is as neutral as you can get. Anyone who is really interested can find references to copious documents regarding all aspects of the Twelve Tribes interactions, both positive and negative, with the outside world. It also describes some of the other sites (on both sides) that others here have mentioned and gives some insight into their agendas. Note that the above site hasn't been updated since 2001 and some of the info is dated.

Take it for what it's worth. I just found this thread and personally I think the way it has morphed, it now belong in the non-A.T. bin, or the dust bin.

Wolf - 23000
11-12-2005, 12:30
Israel

I agree. I don’t think anything I say would every change David mind but I don’t care. Why would he? It’s really easy to be happy when your wife will always submit to his will rather then to be of free will as God intended. It is easier when your children are working instead of playing and having a childhood. As for me being a selfish, depraved, self-loving, God-hating, please. I think people that know me, know I am a very loving, huggable person who care about everyone and view God as my friend.

The Twelve Tribes is NOT of God’s Will; it’s that of their own. Saintin tricked Eve through kindness to eating the apple and falling from grace just as The Twelve Tribes is trying to trick others into joining. If I can help someone to not falling for their tricks, I’ll be happy with that.

Wolf

Roland
11-12-2005, 12:39
Trying to impose one's beliefs on others is an exercise in futility and displays one's own close-mindedness.

Live, and let live.

One Leg
11-12-2005, 12:42
Israel:

I used to think that it would be great to live in a place where everyone was of one mind, one belief, one way of living life. How much easier life would be, I'd think.

The church in Knoxville showed me just how wrong that way of thinking really was. While it was pretty neat to attend a church where everyone homeschooled, there were things that just didn't set well with me. The preacher would say that we were to trust God for our family size, yet when one particular lady in the church became with child, she was facing her 6th c-section. Her doctors strongly cautioned her against having more.You very well could die, the told her. The pastor would say "Who knows more, the doctors or God?" That family also left the church, but the husband retained the beliefs of the pastor, and they've recently had their 8th child.

As I previously stated, I remain friends with many people there, including the pastor. I recently visited him, and had a pretty good visit. He's a very personable fellow, easily likable. But it's what he holds in his heart and spews from the pulpit that I can't, with clear conscience, agree with.

The result of all of this has left us feeling as though we fit in nowhere. We're too conservative for the liberal churches, and too liberal for the conservative churches. The chuch we're currently attening "seems" okay. We like the pastor and the folks. But there again, we're a.) the largest family in the church, and b.) probably the most conservative of the bunch.

With regard to Sprigg and how he runs the Tribe, all I can say is that I've learned not to place my trust, hope, and confidence in man. The Bible is my meaure: If what's being done aligns with the Bible, then there's no problem. It's when it goes against what the Bible teaches that I begin to have problems. The Bible says in Eph.5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it and I just can't see Christ holding us in servitude, stripping our identity, and robbing our self worth.

With regard to children, in 1 Cor.13:11, we read When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. So, we aren't raising miniature adults here, we're raising children. We (the PARENTS, not the community) teach them responsibilty, while allowing them the space to still be children. We correct them when they're wrong, and praise them when they're right. Children, especially those who are 3 and under, have a natural tendancy to cry. We don't beat the crap out of them for doing something that comes naturally. There has to be a balance, and it sounds as if the scales at the Tribe are intentionally weighted to favor one side over the other, so it's impossible to achieve a fair balance. But again, this is based on what I've read in the links provided, and not derived from firsthand experience.(Thank God!)

Anyway, thanks for enlightening us to the Tribe. We'll pray for these kids.

-Scott

neo
11-12-2005, 12:43
i plan on visiting and staying there on my next hike next year:cool: neo

justusryans
11-13-2005, 08:19
As a free American, I value my freedom above all else, The thought of someone telling me what to think, what to read, how to interpret what I read, who my friends are, what my wife can and can't do, and how to raise my daughter is contrary to everything I hold dear.
I make my own decisions, I stand by them, right or wrong, I accept the consequences for them. This is part of being a free American.
I will NEVER give up this freedom and the thought of anyone doing so voluntarily is totally foreign to me.
I would rather live with my own decisions right or wrong than ever allow anyone to make those decisions for me.
This country was founded on freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom, freedom from oppression, to voluntarily relenquish these rights is something I will never do and never understand.

Marta
11-13-2005, 09:06
I think we're dancing around the democracy paradox: what about people/nations who decide of their own free will to give up their right to decide. Who vote Hitler into power? How much control should the majority have to force the minority to adhere to their views, of religion, for example?

This is WAY OT to hiking... Sorry.

justusryans
11-13-2005, 09:20
I think we're dancing around the democracy paradox: what about people/nations who decide of their own free will to give up their right to decide. Who vote Hitler into power? How much control should the majority have to force the minority to adhere to their views, of religion, for example?

This is WAY OT to hiking... Sorry.

Wasn't speaking for anyone else, was speaking for myself. :D

Marta
11-13-2005, 09:33
Wasn't speaking for anyone else, was speaking for myself. :D

And isn't it great to be able to do that?

justusryans
11-13-2005, 09:59
Yes it is!! :D

davidderush
11-13-2005, 18:39
Israel, you are very guilty of distorting and slandering some very good people.

What we believe is very simple and clear, and not at all what you present it to be.

What we believe can be read at:

http://www.twelvetribes.org/whoweare/ourbeliefs.html

In our belief system, everyone who is doing their best to live up to the best light they have received...who is obeying their conscience to the best of their ability...will ultimately find mercy, and a 2nd eternal life in the nations of the eternal age...after being purified of their iniquities in death.

We believe this to be true of sincere people of every faith and people-group; unlike most Christians, who assign all "outside of Christ" to the pit of hell...even little children, and in the case of Calvinists, even babies...

It is so easy to slander good people on the internet...who are too busy living a life of love to defend themselves against such "heretic hunters" as you, Israel.

May I suggest you vote with your feet, and stay away from my friends in Rutland...and may I also suggest that grown, mature human beings don't receive as truth, internet slander against people they have never met.

Anyone who visits my friends with an open, honest heart, will find them to be some of the best people on earth. As Israel warns, you may even fall in love with them and want to stay. May it be. It happened to me, and it was the best thing that ever did happen to me.

And our children are among the happiest and most loved children on earth, as many objective people who have visited us attest. Don't believe this garbage Israel is pushing...be an adult, and check it out for yourself.

Sincerely, David

davidderush
11-13-2005, 19:11
Here is a typical snapshot of our life, as reported on stinkyhikers.com, of what they observed of our children and family life and hospitality on their stay with us in Rutland.

Hardly sounds like the kind of horror-story scenario that Israel is pushing here, does it?
---------------

August 13, 2005

They are in Rutland VT, which is their 3rd state and mile 488. Just yesterday she found out that there was a Wendy’s about a mile down the road and not having had Wendy’s since they left Virginia (or maybe Kansas) she thought the walk there and back would be worth it.

Our hikers found refuge at the Back Home Again Hostel, which is run by a religious group called the 12 Tribes. Katie says these are great people who have opened up their home and share their lifestyle. Katie was impressed as she watched the children happily skipping over to help their parents bake bread. There was no TV and no music blasting away. The family was making their own music and they were making it together. They offered bread, butter and delicious homemade soup to them, which Katie and Jonathan said was fabulous.

-----------------------------------

Better stay away from that place, eh? We should probably have the State take their children from them too....imagine that, no TV, and only home-made music and food...no CD players, no McDonalds....what abuse, eh? They homeschool their children...and dare imagine that in order to actually follow the Son of God, one must freely choose to give all to love one another just as He gave all to love us, just as He commanded in John 13:34,35!

Sounds truly dangerous.

Forgive my sarcasm....

Sincerely, David

Israel
11-13-2005, 21:10
David,
I am not surprised to see you acuse me of slandering you. Reality is that i am only reporting what my very own eyes and ears and spirit experienced as a result of my somewhat lengthy time staying with you all in various communities. You and i both know, moreso than the other visitors of this forum, that a hiker staying one night will not really have any idea what you are all about and what living with you all is really like. Had i not experienced it first hand, i would not have believed it, but having experienced what i experienced, i know it to be true. The fact that you would reduce yourself to labelling me and calling me a name is indicative of the methodology the tribes uses to discount the many voices who have raised up concern about the system that the tribes have evolved into over time...basically, don't address the message, just shoot the messenger. It is so easy to keep rosey glasses on if you are taught and except that all who may state something viewed as "negative" about the tribes is a "heritic hunter" or a god-hater. You have no idea who i am or what life i may or may not live, yet you are ok with deciding i am a "heritic hunter" similar to the likes of Rick Ross, et al.

You presume to know my heart simply b/c my mailing address is not the same as your community. How completely presumptious on your part. Call me a heritic hunter if you want, i personally know, and the people who really know me know, that nothing could be farther from the truth. It is your own folly that you would state such a thing so quickly and without merit. Take a moment and go back and read my post #34 in this thread before you so rashly and w/o merit presume to call me a "hertic hunter." Such ridiculous behavior for a grown man when clearly, my words so completely contradict your rashly formed opinion. Oh but wait...that would require you to actually stop and listen to a messenger, something the community is never trained to do. You tell on your own self David with your own behavior...to the point where you validate the arguement you seek to disqualify.

Roland
11-13-2005, 21:33
~~~
Take it for what it's worth. I just found this thread and personally I think the way it has morphed, it now belong in the non-A.T. bin, or the dust bin.
This bears repeating.

exyathed
11-13-2005, 22:45
Dont read a book by its cover. Sure all you see is the rosy facade put on by the cultists! You catch more flys with honey! Im reposting this link so those who think they are such a nice group to get a peek at the seemy underside of the beast. http://www.twelvetribes-ex.org/ A couple days at there "indoctrination station" is a whole CRY different the living there and surrendering all critical thinking and individualism, and becoming a brain washed droid of someone elses interpretation of a invalid holy book to begin with!

Wolf - 23000
11-14-2005, 14:15
David,

As Israel already said, “a hiker staying one night will not really have any idea what you are all about”. What you believe can be fine and dandy; but there a matter of practicing what you preach. Sainten believe in Jesus too, but he would never follow him.

The Twelve Tribes DOES NOT follows their own beliefs and I’ve seen that first hand. They twist the words of the bible to meet their own believes and need.

attroll
11-14-2005, 14:52
Enough of this. If you want to carry this on then please take it to the Non-AT forums before we close the thread.

RITBlake
11-19-2005, 00:38
Don King and I stayed at the 12 tribes hostel on our 05 sobo thru hike. I have to say that it was one of the most interesting and unique hostel experiences of our entire trip. They people there were incredibly nice and made no mention of their religious affiliation. I would recommend this place to any and all thru hikers passing through Rutland. The bunkrooms are gorgeous, constructed out of old wood from a country barn. Don King and I even shaved some money off the price of our stay by staining some wood.

12 tribes hostel pic
http://www.maine2georgia.com/Vermont/slides/286.JPG

Bjorkin
11-19-2005, 01:32
Ponytails, beards, quiet kids who work, women who do all house chores AND a hostel on the AT? Heck, you guys convinced me! Where do I sign up!? :banana

bfitz
11-19-2005, 07:27
Take it for what it's worth. I just found this thread and personally I think the way it has morphed, it now belong in the non-A.T. bin, or the dust bin.
I dunno...we all enjoy beating a dead horse every now and then...obviously. 's not botherin me any.

littlebigman
11-21-2005, 20:17
These people deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to give all for their cause and tolerating the many hikers who have cost them time and resources. In response to all the negative feedback to their history and system, words like "cult", etc are thrown out--what about the cult of materialism, selfishness, self-absorption, callousness or other religions which have a less than happy history...I'll have to 'fess up to having started the thread as "ubermensch". I forgot what my password was and if you look at the thrust of the post, it should be evident that although it raised an important issue, it was not without guile. For that I apologize.

Bjorkin
11-21-2005, 20:29
For those of you who have Lion King's Walking with Freedom DVD, there is a short clip of a 12 Tribes member in it talking a little about their group. No details just an overall philosophy of love God etc...

Sly
11-21-2005, 23:49
I'll have to 'fess up to having started the thread as "ubermensch". I forgot what my password was and....

Hmmm... You forgot your password, which is retrievable, and not only changed your screen name but your proper name and the town you live in.

squirrel bait
11-22-2005, 08:53
Don King and I stayed at the 12 tribes hostel on our 05 sobo thru hike. I have to say that it was one of the most interesting and unique hostel experiences of our entire trip. They people there were incredibly nice and made no mention of their religious affiliation. I would recommend this place to any and all thru hikers passing through Rutland. The bunkrooms are gorgeous, constructed out of old wood from a country barn. Don King and I even shaved some money off the price of our stay by staining some wood.

12 tribes hostel pic
http://www.maine2georgia.com/Vermont/slides/286.JPG


I thought this hostel was free? With all the B/S aside, how about some first hand reports about this hostel's services/prices reviews as we do with any other hostel.

Lion King
11-22-2005, 15:56
I found them to be very pleasant people.
I went to one of their services and hung with them in thier "compound", and as some of you know, a couple of them are in WWF.

Its like this, if you dont like it or agree with it, dont go, dont support it and go do your thing,.
Or go Find out for yourself, go with an open mind, it was a little different, it was 'stranger' in my eyes at first because I was raised a backwards closeminded Southern Methodist, and I am glad I not only have traveled the AT world, but America in general and have been able to experiance different people and places.

People do differetn things for different reasons. They didnt charge me for the hostel stay and welcomed me for as long as I wanted to stay, they have come out to numerous AT gatehrings and fed and provided non alcoholic drinks to hikers and even at those times you have people who are eating and drinking their gifts saying "Man, cults, what a bunch of freaks! I wonder if they have anymore chili?"

HYOH, in every way...the world would be a better place if we did.

Lone Wolf
11-22-2005, 15:59
They're wrestlers?:D

general
11-22-2005, 16:23
had a couple of these folks try to mind***k me at a dead show in the early 90's. i don't take a mind***king so well so i wouldn't stay there. i have to admit though, they were completely receptive to my parkin' lot ramblin's.

Mountain Dew
11-22-2005, 16:36
my thoughts exactly Lone Wolf...... :banana

Lion King
11-22-2005, 17:59
They're wrestlers?:D

ROTFLMAO!

"in this corner from the 7th tier of Heaven.....JONAS THE HAMMER!!!!!!!"

bfitz
11-22-2005, 19:49
had a couple of these folks try to mind***k me at a dead show in the early 90's. i don't take a mind***king so well so i wouldn't stay there. i have to admit though, they were completely receptive to my parkin' lot ramblin's.
Yeah, we used to call em yashua's, they had a cool bus. I guess that stuff can sound pretty convincing when you're on acid. Hey, it's not like I haven't hung out with some pretty cool wiccans and even the odd satanist is ok, but these guys kinda scared me. Now that I know they are wrestlers also, that's just disturbing...

bfitz
11-22-2005, 19:50
You don't suppose Ric Flair is their grand high mufti? I might join after all....woooooooooooh!

smokymtnsteve
11-22-2005, 20:40
ROTFLMAO!

"in this corner from the 7th tier of Heaven.....JONAS THE HAMMER!!!!!!!"

YEAH,,,put on your kibby it's almost Hannukah;)

Lone Wolf
11-22-2005, 20:42
A kibby? Is it like one of them yamahas?

smokymtnsteve
11-22-2005, 20:50
A kibby? Is it like one of them yamahas?

Yea it is



here a kawo for U.....

makes that little harley U have look like a toy :eek:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=9363&catid=newimages&cutoffdate=1

Chezikah
01-01-2006, 14:19
The Food Co-op and The Hate Group
Art voice Magazine
October 20, 2005
Michael Niman

It seems wholesome enough, looking at the loaves of fresh locally baked organic whole grain bread lined up at the Lexington Food Co-op - each one bearing the homey label of Hamburg’s Common Ground Bakery. An actual visit to the bakery reinforces this bucolic image. There you’ll find a small shop with smiling friendly bakers and the lofting aroma of fresh bread. What’s not readily apparent is that shoppers on four continents are simultaneously walking into Common Ground Bakeries and experiencing the same illusion of a small independent community bake shop. In actuality, however, what they’re walking into is the local franchise of a growing multinational organization. The twelve Tribes, dedicated to spreading a reactionary racist, anti-Semitic, sexist homophobic ideology.
The press started paying attention to Twelve Tribes around five years ago when their Common Ground bakeries entered into concert/events catering business, showing up at music festivals in Europe and Australia as well as stateside venues such as Buffalo’s Elmwood Festival of the Arts (where they were subsequently banned). Along with their tasty snacks and sandwiches, came leaflets, booklets and a recruiting spiel.
Racism
At Britain’s Glastonbury Festival in 2000, they caught the attention of the Guardian after disseminating pamphlets describing Jews as a "cursed" people, and magazines arguing in favor of racial segregation. A year later at Australia’s Woodford Festival, Australia’s Courier Mail cited the group’s reclusive leader, Elbert Eugene Spriggs, as claiming "It is horrible that someone would rise up to abolish slavery - what a wonderful opportunity that blacks could be brought over here [the U.S.] as slaves." The Boston Herald reports that the group teaches their home schooled children a doctrine of white racial superiority. They go on to cite Spriggs, who argues that submission to whites "is the only provision by which will be saved," and that the civil rights movement brought "disorder to the established social order." Spriggs defends slavery as the natural order, explaining that "if the slaves were mistreated it was the fault of the slaves." The antebellum south, he argues, maintained a proper social order - where black slaves "had respect for people. They got along well because they were submissive."
The Twelve Tribes follow up Spriggs’ quotes by advocating for racial segregation both in their publications and on their website. In a piece entitled "Multicultural Madness," for example, they tell the story of a "rich young yuppie" living in an integrated neighborhood. "From one side of his house," they write, "comes the throbbing bass of his neighbor’s stereo as they gather out back for some reggae." On the other side, the mud people are "laughing raucously over the grating syncopation of something called rap" [italics in original]. The piece goes on to explain, "Let’s face it. It is just not reasonable to expect people to live contentedly alongside of others who are culturally and racially different. This is unnatural." People, they explain, have an instinctive desire to live with those of like mind, to congregate in neighborhoods with those of the same race and ethnic origin." This, they claim, is because we have a "natural loathing of perverse and immoral people."
The group, however, still purported not to be racist, arguing that segregation is part of God’s natural order, in essence blasphemously passing the racist ball to God. They’re not racist, you see, they just worship a racist god. Whenever communities question Twelve Tribes businesses about racism, the group parades John Stringer, an African American, to personally counter the charges. Stringer, who they shuffle from city to city and pimp on their website, argues that "our race is becoming increasingly known for its self-destructive behavior." According to Stringer, blacks are responsible for their history of subjection. "The only way to save our race," he explains, "is that we would submit to reason and responsibility, just as all the other minorities who are thriving." This simplistic and ahistorical rationale fits right in with the enlightened racism often espoused in liberal circles, while obfuscating persistent institutional racism and supporting racist stereotypes. This is obvious to people who actually listen to Stringer, instead of just looking at him. In actuality, Stringer needed to submit to more than "reason" and "responsibility." The Boston Herald again cites Twelve Tribes leader Elbert Spriggs, who explains that blacks "must submit to [the twelve tribes] with the attitude to be a servant."
[B]Anti-Semitism
Twelve Tribes members, sort of like wiggers, dismiss charges of racism, explaining that they can’t possibly be racist since they sing black spiritual songs in their homes. Likewise, the group claims that charges of anti-Semitism are also false, because they sing Israeli folk songs, give themselves Hebrew names, and have a purported Jewish person traveling the country saying so. Their Jew, Shalom Israel, as it turns out, isn’t Jewish.
All Jews, they argue, are born "cursed." According to the group, Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus and hence "called down the guilt of his murder on themselves and their children." They argue away the fact that today’s Christianity and Islam both descend from the Judaism of Christ’s time, explaining that the curse of the Jews is cancelled by renouncing one’s Jewishness. "For Jews who follow our master, however," they write, "these curses are removed." This, they argue, is why they aren’t anti-Semitic- because they will help any Jew who is willing to renounce their culture, history and beliefs. If the Jew ceases to be a Jew, they are welcome among the Twelve Tribes. Likewise, African-Americans willing to blame themselves for their own historic oppression are also welcome among the Twelve Tribes.
Misogyny
While individual blacks and Jews can earn the right to work wage-free in a Common Ground bakeries by renouncing their people and struggles, women have no such option. They will always be women, who, according to the Twelve Tribes, were created solely "to be a friend and a helper for man." Sort of like a dog. They explain that women have two basic purposes: "to be a wife and a mother." As a mother, a woman is supposed to raise her children as directed "according to her husband’s heart." Any additional alternative life goals, or failure to "submit" to a husbands "loving" demands, goes against "God’s proper order."
They lament that, "Sadly enough today though, many women strive to be something ‘better.’ " "Woman, " they explain, "is not meant to rule over man." Hence, according to the group’s website, "they strive to be what they are not. They want careers, or money, or whatever they think will give them identity and fulfillment..." A true woman, however, they argue, "doesn’t need to become ‘greater’ than she was created to be." Interestingly enough, one of the things it seems the Twelve Tribes believe that women were created to do, is bake bread for long hours without receiving a paycheck. This natural order seems to have bestowed upon the Twelve Tribes a competitive advantage over other organic whole grain bakeries who still have to dole out Caesar’s image to their heathen workforces.
Child Abuse
The Twelve Tribes has come under repeated fire for child labor violations in many of their factories and businesses. In one celebrated case, their Common Sense Natural Soap and Body Care division lost a lucrative contract manufacturing Estee Lauder’s Origins line after Estee Lauder found children working in their factory. The Twelve Tribes call the charges "false," unfounded and slanderous," claiming the 14 year old boys were simply helping their fathers at work. In similar incidents, the New York Department of Labor busted the group for using child labor in a Paleville candle factory and the Sundance mail order catalog cancelled a contract with the group’s Common Sense Furniture division after the Coxsackie, New York furniture factory became the subject of a child labor controversy.
The Twelve Tribes claim that it is beneficial for children to help their parents work instead of, they explain, "wasting their free time on empty amusements and dissipation, which leads only to bad behavior." The group seems obsessed with "bad behavior," writing off entire "countries like Scandinavia" [sic] as plagued with the malady. Their response to bad behavior on the part of their children, however they define it, is for the adults to indulge themselves in bad behavior of their own, whipping kids with a reed-tipped device they call "the rod." On their own website they explain that "To discipline your children is tantamount to loving them...it shows the child they are loved and cared about."
Children who have escaped from Twelve Tribes compounds, along with adult ex-members, talk of abuse, not love. Noah Jones, for example, left the group’s flagship compound in Island Pond Vermont at the age of 22. In an interview with Burlington’s ABC TV affiliate (WVNY), Jones claimed "They spanked me from my feet to my neck, all the way. I was black and blue, basically head to toe." He recalls being beaten with the rod and locked in basements as a child and later, when he got older, he says he was beaten with a two-by-four.
Jones was ushered to freedom by a sort of underground railroad that, according to WVNY, has "helped dozens of teenagers and children" to escape Twelve Tribes abuse. One of the ‘conductors,’ speaking to WVNY, explained "The anger of these kids coming out is amazing. They’ve been hit by so many people that they can’t even count..."
Zeb Wiseman, another escapee, told the Boston Herald that his mother received no medical care when she was sick with cancer. When she subsequently died, they told him his mother’s death was an example of how God punishes sinners. Wiseman claims that he was then shuffled between twelve tribes communities and beaten daily from the time he was five until he was fifteen. Among his sins, according to Wiseman, was listening to "outside music." He also claims that his schooling stopped when he was 13 and that he began working when he was ten years old. As a rule, Twelve Tribes children do not receive high school diplomas, and they are forbidden to apply for GED degrees or to attend college. This lack of education hinders escapees in their search for work. Essentially, the organization is breeding its own free labor force.
Acquiescence
The Guardian quotes a 24 year old Jewish woman attending the Glastonbury Music Festival as being "shocked on two counts." "First," she explained, she was shocked "that they [Common Ground] were there at all, and secondly, that no one else seemed to care." It’s this apathy- this gross willingness to silently acquiesce to the presence of a hate group, that is truly appalling. But it’s also enlightening.
Then Twelve Tribes is building its empire by feeding on the resources of some of the world’s most progressive communities, specifically because they are also apathetic and self-indulgent enough to support even those organizations who are ideologically opposed to their very presence. Hence, we see the Twelve Tribes prospering, for example, with a restaurant on Ithaca, New York’s signature Commons, despite that city’s history for progressive politics. And we see them opening up on the fringes of alternative and activist communities across New England - often finding a distribution network for their products among food co-ops and hip health food stores. Here in Buffalo, the newly expanded Lexington Food Co-op is the Twelve Tribes largest independent bread retailer, with Common Ground bread dominating their shelves.
The aforementioned concertgoer explained to The Guardian that "People forget there is no such thing as a benign racist, no matter how tasty his vegetarian couscous." This is the problem. The bread is good. And the Common Ground people seem friendly enough. Peace Studies scholar and anthropologist Robert Knox Dentan writes: "The impoverishment and polarization of US politics means that we expect our enemies to be all-evil, but they’re not." Dentan goes on to explain that "Heinrich Himmler famously loved dogs and children. There’s a chilling photo of him hugging a little Jewish boy as the kid was waiting for the train to Auschwitz. The Twelve Tribes, Dentan surmises, "would be nice to that little boy too, as long as he converted to their brand of Christianity. They’re not, most of them, mean people." According to Dentan, "fascism isn’t going to come to the US in the form of goose stepping Storm troopers (SWAT teams aside). It’s certainly going to depend on the help of extreme religious groups like the Tribes.
The Co-op’s Response to Hate
The analogy is frightening. Three weeks after I shared with the Lexington Co-op management and board the data which I subsequently used in this article, I received an official response signed by their store manager and a member of their board. It started out reading, "The Co-op takes it very seriously that one of our primary, longstanding local producers is being labeled a "hate group." On the next line, however, they write "We have never found Common Ground or its members to be anything but friendly to our customers and staff." No doubt this is true.. But by all accounts Osama bin Laden is also very personable, soft spoken and has gentle eyes.
Yes, the Common Ground bakers in Hamburg act "friendly and warm." But their money is supporting a white supremacist empire. Their leader, Eugene Spriggs, is cited in the Boston Herald as lamenting the end of slavery and celebrating the assassination of Martin Luther King. Money spent at the Lexington Co-op on Common Ground breads goes directly to supporting Spriggs’ group’s multinational business and real estate investments - including a new "mega development project" the group is currently putting the finishing touches on in Tampa, Florida. As self-indulgent liberals continue to buy tasty loafs of bread from "nice" bakers, they continue to fund a growing empire that targets vulnerable minorities around the world.
In their letter, the Co-op management goes on to explain that they will look into the allegations presented here, writing, "Our plan is to research the available information in greater detail and within context. We will share this information and consult with spiritual and moral leaders from the community, member-owners, Common Ground themselves, and other co-ops. We will then make a decision on how to proceed."
Companies such as Estee Lauder and LL Bean, which are not particularly progressive, figured this out long ago and stopped carrying Twelve Tribes products. There is no context in which such hate speech is acceptable. And it shouldn’t take consultation with a "spiritual" or "moral leader" to figure this out.

Chezikah
01-01-2006, 14:30
Reasons for Leaving
89 Reasons why a past member left the Cult.
WHY I LEFT ELBERT EUGENE SPRIGGS "TWELVE TRIBES COMMUNES"
The reasons why a past member left the Twelve Tribes Cult.
The past member that wrote this has wished to remain anonymous. Formerly known as: Northeast Kingdom Community Church, Church of God, The New Apostolic Order in Messiah, The Church in Island Pond and generally, The Communities)
(Friendship-love-dogma-shame-guilt-fear-) Warning: The Tribes consider all negative reporting on their life as "malicious lies and slander." They also state "both those who lie and those who listen to lies are worthy of the lake of fire."

The community started in the 1970's with a Christian couple, Gene and Marsha Spriggs, who helped troubled teens and furnished them a place to stay in their home. Somehow Christian hippie love and a free communal life degenerated into a total control religious cult mixed with Jewish Old Testament Law and the Christian Gospel.


Though they beat around the bush with first time visitors, the tribes clearly consider themselves "the only true work of God on earth since the apostles." Being the called, chosen, and the faithful, one member repeatedly shouted at a daily gathering, "1 am so thankful and not ashamed to declare we're it! We're it! God's only people! We are the people He's always wanted and never obtained!" The tribes teach that only they possess God's Spirit. "If you're in the world, you have another spirit, or perhaps an angel leading you to God's body (Tribes).


Only community members can preach the "true gospel." They say "the sheep will obediently receive, hear and obey a 'sent one' giving up wealth, jobs, friends, relatives and inheritance to enter the one sheepfold." To join the community "sheep" must donate their time and free labor. "Saved" means calling upon Yahshua (Jesus is a demon) and consenting to outdoor baptism even in the middle of winter. Within the communities, opportunities abound for a member to "die to themselves" and "crucify their flesh." Believing Jesus' death insufficient to save a person, they render community members totally dependent upon the group.


I was told, "God created a special place for His own where His Holy Spirit dwells, the Edah, our Twelve Tribes. Currently we don't have twelve tribes, but someday we will. Forgiveness, love and restoration cannot occur anywhere else. Our Master Yahshua accomplished this through His death on the tree, suffering in our place and rising again on our behalf."


Full of unclean birds and spirits, Christianity is "the bloody whore of Revelation. Her ministers are liars. Thieves and draw glory to themselves while destroying the sheep," according to Spriggs' teaching. Instructed regularly, members omit 'the bloody whore' part with new visitors. Community members also believe "Jews and Christians failed to perform God's purpose, so God cut them off, cast them aside and waited 1900 years for a people willing to obey His commands." They try to persuade people into believing that "only they bear good fruit."


Members cannot enter any Church or Temple "especially on Sundays," because "evil spirits are near".


E. Spriggs refers to the Bible as "the most dangerous book." The tribes also say "In order to understand the Scriptures one must connect himself to the vine (the tribes). And in another teaching Spriggs says "The Bible is written to confound the wise and meant to be misunderstood unless you are under the anointing." (Spriggs' interpretation) Stone IV 6/18/89


Before Messiah can return for "His Bride," the tribes believe they alone must perfectly keep God's laws for 49 years.


Filling their members with fear and dread, the community makes it difficult for devastated members to depart. As they are leaving, defectors may hear "Whoever has the Holy Spirit and leaves the body is turned over to death. You will not live long." In another teaching Spriggs says, "If a person even thinks about returning to Egypt, our Father will provide them an opportunity to return. ..If you go back, you will drown." These damaged people can no longer trust God, themselves or others, and are unable to receive 'help from the world."


AI Jayne "Ne'eman", one of my shepherds told me candidly, "We make people unable to survive and stand on their own two feet in the world."


The tribes latched onto the Catholic purgatory model for their "three eternal destinies" teaching. One of their main sales pitches, they treat this teaching like golden revelation from on High. Even though Jesus said, "Why do you call me good, only God alone is good," the tribes teach some people are "good" and "live according to their conscience."


The tribes "freepapers" and Website fail to give potential "sheep" the dark, depressed, painful side of life in the communes.


Community members cannot accuse their leaders of wrong or voice discontent. Concerning complaints and malcontents Spriggs says, “Whoever is against the Father makes himself brother to Satan, the rebel prince of this world system."


If you "oppose the anointing" (Spriggs, his elders or teachings), God may cause you to become ill, experience an accident or die." Mary Wiseman, who died of cancer, told another sister, "You don't know Yoneq (Spriggs), he can have real anger." Following her death, the elders remarked, "Our Father removed Mary from His body because she opposed the anointing." Spriggs and his henchmen are untouchable little kings.


By inhibiting critical thinking among community members, a "group think" mentality prevails. Accordingly, followers surrender their right to make value judgments. (They cannot reason ). All female members must wear dresses or hideous clown-type pants. Men must grow their hair long enough to tie their hair in a short pony tail. Unity means "we perfectly agree about everything." We do not agree to disagree like Christianity with all their denominations." We are one as Yahshua commanded." They always rid themselves of those who cause division.


Young adults who break away from the tribes are told, "you are forsaking God, your parents and friends, so you can indulge your flesh in the world." One young man courageously told two shepherds, "I can't live this way." Later the elders publicly blamed the young man's mother as a poor example of an imma (Hebrew mother).


Gene Spriggs decides all belief, practice and lifestyle. Positioned in a place of unrivaled power-and control. Spriggs the monarch and pope of the community answers to no one. Being the sole leader of the tribes. Spriggs prefers to maintain a low profile, and keeps any knowledge of his whereabouts, lifestyle, or finances secret.


Carefully guarded in each commune house, Spriggs' teachings are not available to the public nor to many of the sheep. Sometimes an elder may give a less dramatic teaching if he believes "It will help a 'sheep' to increase. One newer black member repeatedly asked to see "the Ham teaching" which describes "God's curse on the black race, their continuing sin of disrespect, and their duty to serve whites." Believing that the teaching would cause him to stumble, the elder denied him access. Outsiders often hear, "any brother may bring a teaching." Actually this means any brother may study a teaching Spriggs dreamed up and then repeat the teaching to the household. I often heard, "scripture is not personally interpreted." Another oft heard control phrase within the community is, "you need to receive and cling to the anointing (Spriggs)."


Though I've heard reports of Spriggs watching television and reading whatever he chooses, the average community member cannot exercise such freedom. By contrast, radio, television, and printed materials are off limits to almost all community members. Musicians use cassette players, but soon they will not enjoy access to them. Tribal teen boys often read newspapers and various magazines when they are alone. Listening to the car radio is a gray area.


Bowel movements and how you have them are critical. During bathroom visits, members squat on small unstable wooden stools. A difficult feat it is! They say "toilets are killing Americans, because as you sit not enough crap comes out. This causes colon cancer."


Concerning crap, while outdoors "members must bury all bowel movements because our Father walks around and may step in the crap." Upon hearing this, I almost rolled on the floor laughing. All I could picture is a half-man half-horse deity trotting around the countryside and through the woods at night. You must honestly question who their God/god really is.


A husband no longer holds authority within his family, but a shepherd usurps authority over your wife and children. This is humiliating and frightening.


Eddie Wiseman beat a teenage community member leaving 89 bloody welts on her body. As a result, the family stayed away from the commune for 15 years, but sadly returned in 1998. None of them received the courage to pursue charges against "cold Eddie" (Hakam). I have heard stories of this man sexually abusing at least one boy. As the boy courageously told his elders of the abuse, they rewarded him by beating him and locking him in a closet. People like Eddie Wiseman and Gene Spriggs don't repent. They never do anything wrong.


Awakened and frightened by the boring religious service, a crying 2 year old child refused to sit like a miniature adult. In response, the parents rolled their son in a sheet to prevent him from moving his arms or legs. The parents repeated this "discipline" over several weeks.


One of my shepherds approached me and said, "I don't like the behavior of your two year old son. You need to hit him." I felt like telling Al Jayne "Ne'eman", "Too damn bad, look at your own children." If I didn't hit my son, I felt like Al Jayne would have enjoyed the task in my place. The tribes expect too much from small children. Burdened with the goal of raising up three successive generations of increasingly pure and perfect children, community members constantly "beat the tar out of their babies." Spriggs also says, "If our children can't learn obedience, Yahshua will not return."


Many parents "in the world" punish their children as a last resort. In the tribes, parents punish their children as a first resort. Walloping their children provides some adults with an excuse to leave a gathering. Instructed to remove their "disobedient" children far from the listening ears of visitors, the parents strike their children on outstretched palms or bare buttocks with long thin flexible sticks. Foolishness, joke telling, laughing or making faces often results in "discipline" for these young children.


"My imma and abba (mother and father) hit me all day, "exclaimed a little boy.


After my wife and I divorced, she and my 6-year-old son lived outside the community. I asked Al Jayne, I haven't seen my son in several months, and I really miss him. You often drive to his town, can I travel with you sometime? Al responded with, ""If you visit your son when he is young you will only confuse him. As he reaches his teens, he will wonder and visit you." Another newer, but older member told me, '"You're just a babe, Eric. You must mature before you visit your relatives. Perhaps your son and former wife are sheep. They need to see you living obediently with God's people, then you can share the gospel with them." Several other members emphasized, '"You must follow the example of Abraham and place your son on the altar. You must reckon Jason as dead, just as Abraham reckoned Isaac dead." One sister suggested I seek legal custody of Jason, and remove him from his mother. My former wife is an excellent mother. Taking Jason would break her heart and destroy her.


According to Spriggs "parents who send their children to public schools hate them."


Community children cannot celebrate birthdays or "demonic" holidays such as Christmas or Easter.


One teen-age girl boldly told me that "at one time the adults used to put children into boxes and lock them in closets. They wanted the children to experience DEATH."


To control difficult teenagers, the tribes sometimes sends them overseas to sister communes. This hinders relatives from helping the imprisoned teenager.


The community routinely removes children from their parents, if the parents cannot raise them according to Spriggs' standards. One young child moved into my communal home, and shortly thereafter his "teacher" thrashed him with a balloon stick.


Within the community, parents routinely deny their children immunizations and medical care. They don't want doctors to discover the many scars on their children's buttocks. The community hates to spend money on "worldly medical care."


The daughter of one shepherd told me, "Growing up in the Edah is difficult. As a young child, I endured constant "discipline." Currently, I am busy with never ending work, but when I marry I will have even more work, and my husband will rule over me. I know Yahshua loves me. I need to trust Him and give up my life."


I was told several times, "If you don't use chopsticks during your meal, you offend and hate Japheth. (Oriental people, Native American people). The tribes hope to recruit more minorities. In Hamburg, members exercised more freedom concerning the use of forks or chopsticks.


If the young children engage in imaginary play, pretend, fantasy or imaginary friends, their parents beat them. In one commune, small boys could not push blocks of wood, or make truck noises. Community children possess few if any toys, and cannot play unless an adult "covers" them. In defense of their views, they say, "we want our children to deal with real life, such as learning a trade or helping their mothers in the kitchen." A commune house may own one ball or bicycle, which, the children may play with provided they don't have too much fun. Sadly, the children enjoy little play time, because the adults must continue working "so that the sheep have a home to come to, food to eat and clothes to wear."


Within the communities, tightly swaddled babies, toddlers and small children are a common sight. Unable to move their arms or legs, the poor children are wrapped in a cloth or blanket like little mummies. They are made helpless and often must sit for long periods, while their mothers work. One member explained, "swaddling helps to break their will without breaking their spirit." I often pitied a frightened little black baby wrapped in this way. She wanted to move but couldn't.


Mothers who deliver their infants in the hospital, lack faith in God and their brothers. A woman named Amy who suffers from a heart condition, endured six days of sleepless labor with a breech birth. She and her husband, Aaron Anderson, refused outside medical help and chose to "remain where our Father dwells." "If you trust our Father you can accomplish anything." They place no trust in doctors, hospitals or Christians.


Years earlier, I questioned my household coordinator regarding women "who are just too small to safely deliver their babies at home." Coldly he said "LET THEM RIP!" I was stunned. A cold religious spirit dominates in the community, which reminds me of some Old-Order Amish groups and "Desert Father'' type monasteries. To them the "pain of child birth is beneficial for a woman." Through many trials and tribulations we will enter the kingdom." You need to die." - -


Spriggs' teachings dictate that married women must produce at least seven children. According to Spriggs he says "God is going to bring forth a male child (144,000) with absolutely no deceit in them. There will not be one lie in them. They will be just like Messiah. They will be so pure that fire comes out of their mouth and they will be righteously indignant."


In each communal home, every newborn male endures circumcision. Furthermore they say, "Every adult male should desire circumcision." The tribes totally ignore the apostle Paul’s extensive teachings regarding law, grace, and circumcision.


Individuals and families lack personal privacy.


Because they enjoyed a "burlesque" piece of lingerie, one couple had to confess their "sin" to the entire household. I felt sorry for them. Through his teachings, I believe Spriggs instructs couples about "correct" sexual positions. Tribal control doesn't necessarily stop at the bedroom doors. Content with their one baby, one couple had to repent when they honestly stated that they wished to have no more. This couple left the tribes after an entire household collapsed in Lancaster, New Hampshire, amidst a series of hushed up scandals.


As I sat in a chair and silently prayed, One brother accused me "of communing with evil spirits." A shepherd's wife told me "You should pray aloud because the angels take our prayers to God."


If a wife refuses to join the tribes with her husband then "she was never his wife."


Within the communities, women must obey their husbands without reasoning or questioning. The community views a disobedient wife as rebellious, independent and un-submissive. To persuade the wife to repent, sometimes the husband may withhold sex from her.


A household coordinator referred to my wife as a witch when she tried to dissuade me from joining the tribes. At our baptism, we were told to 'renounce Jesus and the demonic spirit of Christianity.'


Several times a household coordinator secretly tapped into phone conversations when I spoke with my wife. In response he said, "I pay the telephone bill, and I have the right to know if someone is filling your head with defiling negative information." (about the community).


The tribes belittle Christians for attending church, sitting in a pew and listening to a clergyman talk about 'white bread Jesus,' yet in the community, teaching sessions may last three times longer than a sermon. I certainly didn't feel like dancing when I heard these teachings.


Those who sleep during a dull teaching must stand until the remainder of the session. During teachings, members may not use the bathroom or drink water


At any time, you may be asked to stand in the center of a room 'if you need help or correction." They call this a "lemon fight."


You can understand why the tribes don't tell new guests the real details of their life. It's too bad for the guests who may be hypnotized by the initial love, smiles, compliments, hugs, dancing and testimonies. Because I was so sad in the world, I tried to sell myself on their "gospel." I tried daily to believe that twelve tribes members were "the only Ones being saved." After a while, I felt sick inside.


Financially, the shepherds live better than "the sheep." Makes sense right? Shepherds and sheep. Overseers of the community, shepherds possess credit cards, own cars, and control the money. They can buy food, purchase gifts for their wives and children, and take frequent trips. In contrast, the dumb sheep wash piles of dirty dishes, clean the toilets and wash the clothes. While most tribal women have few if any pictures to enjoy, Prisca, the wife of "Aquilla the Gorilla" owns and enjoys an expensive camera. Shepherd Al Jayne is fond of buying new higher-grade tools for his sons. His oldest son Nehemiah drives his own van and owns expensive musical instruments. Jesus said, "If you want to be the greatest, you must be the slave of all." What did Yahshua say? "Disciples wash dishes." Shepherds and their children do not. When I once hinted that Al Jayne's boys never washed dishes, their mother responded with "you never sing songs or tell stories to my teenage sons while washing dishes." A clear double standard prevails in the tribes. I think you call it a clergy-laity division.


Men and women work long hours 16-18 hours) with no wages and little if any medical care. Members give everything and receive nothing in return except dances, hugs, baked squash, millet, beets, maggot infested potatoes, teachings and house arrest. As one brother said a couple of days prior to finally leaving, "I'm so tired...I’m so tired." He could barely drive the car. After his departure, the elders said "his parents spoiled and pampered him." The twelve tribes routinely use people and then cast them aside as "weak".


While working past midnight, a brother accidentally struck himself in the face with a hammer. Muscle hanging from his injured face, he called an ambulance. Because the elders desire to maintain control over communal money, the shepherds admonished the man for seeking medical care. Paid overtime isn't even in tribal vocabulary. I remember hearing brothers ridicule time clocks "in the world." If you have a time clock, be glad. Now that I live in the world, I'm glad that I receive "a living wage for a fair days work."


All communities will soon pay a tithe to cover tribal expenses such as property taxes and evangelism.. Guess who profits from any left over money? Elbert Eugene Spriggs. Eddie Wiseman. Don't forget the higher ranks of "apostolic workers." Silver and gold we have some. Lowly sheep you get none. We have it all. Keep laboring you sheep. -


When I last lived in the tribes, the elders allotted only $10.00 per week per person for food, clothes and personal items. I waited three weeks to receive dental floss and longer for toothpaste. The shepherds and their families always had money for personal trips, ice cream and pizza. One elder, "Aquilla the Gorilla", often frequents the local Denny's Restaurant.


One sister waited over two years to receive a bathrobe. Meanwhile, the shepherd just purchased a new and expensive computer system. Another sister spoke with me about her fear and guilt as she needed an eye exam and new glasses.


Members need permission to visit family or friends "in the world." They cannot attend any family funerals. Parents who oppose the Edah may never see their children again. When a young person joins the community, shepherds and their wives sometimes become the young adult's new parents.


Sexual abuse of children and physical abuse of married women, continues to be a problem within the communities. One single brother repeatedly exposed himself to the small children in a bathroom, and was asked to leave. Collectively, they refuse to repent for destroying the lives of their members. Denial is a key concept with the tribes, because they are always right and the individual is always wrong. One of their favorite sayings is "It is better to be wrong together, than to be right alone."
Hitler would have agreed! Emphasis added!


The tribes insisted that they never helped Steve Wooten, a member wanted by the police for kidnapping. I was present at the morning gathering when the FBI arrested Steve Wooten in Florida. The tribes lied. They sheltered him for many years. Member's called his former wife, a witch, a prostitute, a liar and an unfit mother.


The tribes forbid it's members from taking medication. Over a ten year period, one sister stopped taking her medication for manic - depression which resulted in irrational behavior. Repeatedly dumped at homeless shelters and cheap hotels, the elders insisted that her condition was the result of rebellion and unconfessed sin. Several months later, she returned to the community amid promises from the shepherd "Aquilla the Gorilla" that they would never again ask her to leave. Sometime later, a brother substituted a strong Tribe -produced St. John's Wort tincture for her prescribed medication. As a result, she suffered from insomnia for four days. Once again,
Al Jayne ditched the penniless sister at a hotel and told her "I guess the last nine or ten years have been a real waste." When I inquired about the sister's whereabouts, the shepherd responded with "she went crazy." The community always treats the individual as a scapegoat. In contrast, the twelve tribes are always "God's holy people." The communes are far worse than the churches they condemn, because love is not the rule.


The tribes condemn Christianity "for the sin of the Nicolaitins" which they interpret as a clergy -laity division. In the tribes you have Spriggs-shepherd-sheep division.


Attempting to obey the many Old Testament laws, the communities in essence practice legalism. They ignore the many warnings of the apostle Paul and the Jerusalem Council. In Acts 15 Paul said, "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: To abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality."


Forbidden to tuck in their shirts, tribal men look like slobs. Considering clean shaven men as emasculated and Roman, tribal men cannot shave or closely trim their beards. Priestly robes and wide headbands for use during the gatherings, are on the way.


Members must eat whatever is on their plate, and if someone doesn't like a particular food, they must eat more of it. Because I hate beets, one member told me, "Don't think you'll enter the kingdom if you don't eat your veggies." Sounds like legalism to me. Emphasis added!


Community members can only wear cotton clothing against their skin.


Community members cannot wear jewelry or wrist watches. During a gathering, his holiness Gene Spriggs smashed a member's watch under his foot when the alarm accidentally sounded.


Women in the community really suffer while working in the kitchen. While the men buy new tools from Home Depot, the women must chop cabbage and shred carrots by hand because they don't have a food processor. They constantly cut their fingers on the very dull knives they must use. They must use temperamental old washers and dryers and hang out the laundry by hand. Because they refuse to install a dishwasher, the sheep must wash piles of dirty dishes. A former member once said "the community is the worst place for women since ancient China." A drinking fountain would eliminate the need to wash 400 glasses each day.


Women do not participate in tribal government.


Children and adults within the communities cannot own personal pets. Most tribe children are fearful of cats and dogs, because they believe them to be unclean to a true Hebrew.


A man cannot sleep with his wife during her monthly period, but must sleep on a floor mat. During this time, the woman is "unclean" but not too unclean to continue her daily work. You can see why the apostle Paul said: "The law kills."


Everyone in the tribes except Gene Spriggs and those closest to him are "covered." This means someone always knows where you are working or where you can be found. In my opinion, it is the aim of the twelve tribes commune to discourage all independence (thought, action, freedom of movement, opinions, access to information, access to families) and to drive them into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots. They have lost all personal ambition, are easy to rule, willing to obey and willing to exist in selfless slavery to the community.


Except for Spriggs, anyone can be "cut off." Those who are "cut off" cannot wear their head covering (women), pray at gatherings, or participate in breaking of bread. Concerning those who are cut off, Spriggs says" ... Don't eat with them. We don't talk to them except to reprove them, trying to bring them back to the faith -if we believe they are a brother or sister. We don't have communion with them." He also says, "One who has fallen and contracted "leprosy" needs to be restored and washed so everyone can touch him. If you touch him before this you get dirty, you contract their leprosy. "They shun the disobedient and rebellious member until they repent.


Communal cars almost always have empty gas tanks. When people are given money for fuel, they usually buy a couple of gallons of gas, and then pocket the remaining money. Members are rarely given enough money to fill the tank, unless a shepherd needs to take a trip somewhere.


Do you currently know where Yoneq is? What is he doing? How much money does he have stashed away? What kind of car is he driving? Who covers him? Has he been "cut off"? Is he "clinging to the anointing?" (Himself) Has he repented? Want to cause waves in the tribes? Start asking pointed questions about Yoneq. Why have some teachings "disappeared," never to be heard again ?


One brother told me he sleeps on a very hard futon so he can be prepared "for the wilderness.." The tribes are planning to gather in "the wilderness" someday because they believe the world will reject them. Sounds like Jonestown and Waco doesn't it? Spriggs and elder Hawkins of the House of Yahweh should meet sometime and compare notes. But, they would probably "cut off" each other.


The elders often censored, scrutinized and sometimes intentionally opened my mail. They always wanted to know if the sender was "a friend of Israel." (The tribes).


I often heard, "Only the strong survive in Christianity." I marvel at this statement when I think of all the weary eyed, broken down and exhausted people I knew in the tribes. As Gene Spriggs says, "the longer you are in the body, the harder it is to remain, Only the faithful will endure to the very end."


Community members are slaves. It's that simple. Members make it possible for Gene Spriggs to fly around the world, and for Spriggs and his buddies to retire in style.


The twelve tribes is a high control, devastating religious cult which robs it's members of basic human rights. Within the tribes there is no: free thought, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, private property, freedom to travel, family contact, burial of relatives, earned income, inheritance, education, current events/world news, labor laws, workmen's compensation, health insurance, right to bear arms, voting rights, fair trial, prescribed medications, choice of personal appearance, diet choice, marriage decisions, music choice, radio and TV.


Before leaving I challenged the authority of my shepherd. He took on a different personality altogether as he said, "I am God in this house. You hate me and despise our Master. You love your own life. I'm trying to help you be saved."


The communities routinely give their "sheep" Hebrew names. They say, "Dead men don't have opinions."


Everyone in the tribes must end each shower with a straight cold rinse. Cold not cool. This signifies the cold response disciples receive when they share the Tribes "gospel." According to Spriggs, "the cold rinse multiplies white blood cells, prevents illness, and increases longevity." I still cold rinse in the warmer months. In the winter, cold rinses terribly aggravate arthritis.


Community members can only marry another member only if the body gives their holy approval. If the union benefits the body, they will approve the marriage.


The last time I tried to visit the tribes, Aquilla the Gorilla escorted me out the door, because he feared I would "defile" their gathering or cause more "sheep" to leave. He was intensely interested in knowing if I was a Christian.


No one needs to live in a legalistic cult to know God's love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.


I was told several times, "if you don't use chopsticks during your meal, you offend and hate Japheth. (Oriental people, Native American people). The tribes hope to recruit more minorities. In Hamburg, members exercised more freedom concerning the use of forks or chopsticks.

Chezikah
01-01-2006, 14:36
[quote=Chezikah]The Food Co-op and The Hate Group
Art voice Magazine
October 20, 2005
Michael Niman

It seems wholesome enough, looking at the loaves of fresh locally baked organic whole grain bread lined up at the Lexington Food Co-op - each one bearing the homey label of Hamburg’s Common Ground Bakery. An actual visit to the bakery reinforces this bucolic image. There you’ll find a small shop with smiling friendly bakers and the lofting aroma of fresh bread. What’s not readily apparent is that shoppers on four continents are simultaneously walking into Common Ground Bakeries and experiencing the same illusion of a small independent community bake shop. In actuality, however, what they’re walking into is the local franchise of a growing multinational organization. The twelve Tribes, dedicated to spreading a reactionary racist, anti-Semitic, sexist homophobic ideology.
The press started paying attention to Twelve Tribes around five years ago when their Common Ground bakeries entered into concert/events catering business, showing up at music festivals in Europe and Australia as well as stateside venues such as Buffalo’s Elmwood Festival of the Arts (where they were subsequently banned). Along with their tasty snacks and sandwiches, came leaflets, booklets and a recruiting spiel.
Racism
At Britain’s Glastonbury Festival in 2000, they caught the attention of the Guardian after disseminating pamphlets describing Jews as a "cursed" people, and magazines arguing in favor of racial segregation. A year later at Australia’s Woodford Festival, Australia’s Courier Mail cited the group’s reclusive leader, Elbert Eugene Spriggs, as claiming "It is horrible that someone would rise up to abolish slavery - what a wonderful opportunity that blacks could be brought over here [the U.S.] as slaves." The Boston Herald reports that the group teaches their home schooled children a doctrine of white racial superiority. They go on to cite Spriggs, who argues that submission to whites "is the only provision by which will be saved," and that the civil rights movement brought "disorder to the established social order." Spriggs defends slavery as the natural order, explaining that "if the slaves were mistreated it was the fault of the slaves." The antebellum south, he argues, maintained a proper social order - where black slaves "had respect for people. They got along well because they were submissive."
The Twelve Tribes follow up Spriggs’ quotes by advocating for racial segregation both in their publications and on their website. In a piece entitled "Multicultural Madness," for example, they tell the story of a "rich young yuppie" living in an integrated neighborhood. "From one side of his house," they write, "comes the throbbing bass of his neighbor’s stereo as they gather out back for some reggae." On the other side, the mud people are "laughing raucously over the grating syncopation of something called rap" [italics in original]. The piece goes on to explain, "Let’s face it. It is just not reasonable to expect people to live contentedly alongside of others who are culturally and racially different. This is unnatural." People, they explain, have an instinctive desire to live with those of like mind, to congregate in neighborhoods with those of the same race and ethnic origin." This, they claim, is because we have a "natural loathing of perverse and immoral people."
The group, however, still purported not to be racist, arguing that segregation is part of God’s natural order, in essence blasphemously passing the racist ball to God. They’re not racist, you see, they just worship a racist god. Whenever communities question Twelve Tribes businesses about racism, the group parades John Stringer, an African American, to personally counter the charges. Stringer, who they shuffle from city to city and pimp on their website, argues that "our race is becoming increasingly known for its self-destructive behavior." According to Stringer, blacks are responsible for their history of subjection. "The only way to save our race," he explains, "is that we would submit to reason and responsibility, just as all the other minorities who are thriving." This simplistic and ahistorical rationale fits right in with the enlightened racism often espoused in liberal circles, while obfuscating persistent institutional racism and supporting racist stereotypes. This is obvious to people who actually listen to Stringer, instead of just looking at him. In actuality, Stringer needed to submit to more than "reason" and "responsibility." The Boston Herald again cites Twelve Tribes leader Elbert Spriggs, who explains that blacks "must submit to [the twelve tribes] with the attitude to be a servant."
[B]Anti-Semitism
Twelve Tribes members, sort of like wiggers, dismiss charges of racism, explaining that they can’t possibly be racist since they sing black spiritual songs in their homes. Likewise, the group claims that charges of anti-Semitism are also false, because they sing Israeli folk songs, give themselves Hebrew names, and have a purported Jewish person traveling the country saying so. Their Jew, Shalom Israel, as it turns out, isn’t Jewish.
All Jews, they argue, are born "cursed." According to the group, Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus and hence "called down the guilt of his murder on themselves and their children." They argue away the fact that today’s Christianity and Islam both descend from the Judaism of Christ’s time, explaining that the curse of the Jews is cancelled by renouncing one’s Jewishness. "For Jews who follow our master, however," they write, "these curses are removed." This, they argue, is why they aren’t anti-Semitic- because they will help any Jew who is willing to renounce their culture, history and beliefs. If the Jew ceases to be a Jew, they are welcome among the Twelve Tribes. Likewise, African-Americans willing to blame themselves for their own historic oppression are also welcome among the Twelve Tribes.
Misogyny
While individual blacks and Jews can earn the right to work wage-free in a Common Ground bakeries by renouncing their people and struggles, women have no such option. They will always be women, who, according to the Twelve Tribes, were created solely "to be a friend and a helper for man." Sort of like a dog. They explain that women have two basic purposes: "to be a wife and a mother." As a mother, a woman is supposed to raise her children as directed "according to her husband’s heart." Any additional alternative life goals, or failure to "submit" to a husbands "loving" demands, goes against "God’s proper order."
They lament that, "Sadly enough today though, many women strive to be something ‘better.’ " "Woman, " they explain, "is not meant to rule over man." Hence, according to the group’s website, "they strive to be what they are not. They want careers, or money, or whatever they think will give them identity and fulfillment..." A true woman, however, they argue, "doesn’t need to become ‘greater’ than she was created to be." Interestingly enough, one of the things it seems the Twelve Tribes believe that women were created to do, is bake bread for long hours without receiving a paycheck. This natural order seems to have bestowed upon the Twelve Tribes a competitive advantage over other organic whole grain bakeries who still have to dole out Caesar’s image to their heathen workforces.
Child Abuse
The Twelve Tribes has come under repeated fire for child labor violations in many of their factories and businesses. In one celebrated case, their Common Sense Natural Soap and Body Care division lost a lucrative contract manufacturing Estee Lauder’s Origins line after Estee Lauder found children working in their factory. The Twelve Tribes call the charges "false," unfounded and slanderous," claiming the 14 year old boys were simply helping their fathers at work. In similar incidents, the New York Department of Labor busted the group for using child labor in a Paleville candle factory and the Sundance mail order catalog cancelled a contract with the group’s Common Sense Furniture division after the Coxsackie, New York furniture factory became the subject of a child labor controversy.
The Twelve Tribes claim that it is beneficial for children to help their parents work instead of, they explain, "wasting their free time on empty amusements and dissipation, which leads only to bad behavior." The group seems obsessed with "bad behavior," writing off entire "countries like Scandinavia" [sic] as plagued with the malady. Their response to bad behavior on the part of their children, however they define it, is for the adults to indulge themselves in bad behavior of their own, whipping kids with a reed-tipped device they call "the rod." On their own website they explain that "To discipline your children is tantamount to loving them...it shows the child they are loved and cared about."
Children who have escaped from Twelve Tribes compounds, along with adult ex-members, talk of abuse, not love. Noah Jones, for example, left the group’s flagship compound in Island Pond Vermont at the age of 22. In an interview with Burlington’s ABC TV affiliate (WVNY), Jones claimed "They spanked me from my feet to my neck, all the way. I was black and blue, basically head to toe." He recalls being beaten with the rod and locked in basements as a child and later, when he got older, he says he was beaten with a two-by-four.
Jones was ushered to freedom by a sort of underground railroad that, according to WVNY, has "helped dozens of teenagers and children" to escape Twelve Tribes abuse. One of the ‘conductors,’ speaking to WVNY, explained "The anger of these kids coming out is amazing. They’ve been hit by so many people that they can’t even count..."
Zeb Wiseman, another escapee, told the Boston Herald that his mother received no medical care when she was sick with cancer. When she subsequently died, they told him his mother’s death was an example of how God punishes sinners. Wiseman claims that he was then shuffled between twelve tribes communities and beaten daily from the time he was five until he was fifteen. Among his sins, according to Wiseman, was listening to "outside music." He also claims that his schooling stopped when he was 13 and that he began working when he was ten years old. As a rule, Twelve Tribes children do not receive high school diplomas, and they are forbidden to apply for GED degrees or to attend college. This lack of education hinders escapees in their search for work. Essentially, the organization is breeding its own free labor force.
Acquiescence
The Guardian quotes a 24 year old Jewish woman attending the Glastonbury Music Festival as being "shocked on two counts." "First," she explained, she was shocked "that they [Common Ground] were there at all, and secondly, that no one else seemed to care." It’s this apathy- this gross willingness to silently acquiesce to the presence of a hate group, that is truly appalling. But it’s also enlightening.
Then Twelve Tribes is building its empire by feeding on the resources of some of the world’s most progressive communities, specifically because they are also apathetic and self-indulgent enough to support even those organizations who are ideologically opposed to their very presence. Hence, we see the Twelve Tribes prospering, for example, with a restaurant on Ithaca, New York’s signature Commons, despite that city’s history for progressive politics. And we see them opening up on the fringes of alternative and activist communities across New England - often finding a distribution network for their products among food co-ops and hip health food stores. Here in Buffalo, the newly expanded Lexington Food Co-op is the Twelve Tribes largest independent bread retailer, with Common Ground bread dominating their shelves.
The aforementioned concertgoer explained to The Guardian that "People forget there is no such thing as a benign racist, no matter how tasty his vegetarian couscous." This is the problem. The bread is good. And the Common Ground people seem friendly enough. Peace Studies scholar and anthropologist Robert Knox Dentan writes: "The impoverishment and polarization of US politics means that we expect our enemies to be all-evil, but they’re not." Dentan goes on to explain that "Heinrich Himmler famously loved dogs and children. There’s a chilling photo of him hugging a little Jewish boy as the kid was waiting for the train to Auschwitz. The Twelve Tribes, Dentan surmises, "would be nice to that little boy too, as long as he converted to their brand of Christianity. They’re not, most of them, mean people." According to Dentan, "fascism isn’t going to come to the US in the form of goose stepping Storm troopers (SWAT teams aside). It’s certainly going to depend on the help of extreme religious groups like the Tribes.
The Co-op’s Response to Hate
The analogy is frightening. Three weeks after I shared with the Lexington Co-op management and board the data which I subsequently used in this article, I received an official response signed by their store manager and a member of their board. It started out reading, "The Co-op takes it very seriously that one of our primary, longstanding local producers is being labeled a "hate group." On the next line, however, they write "We have never found Common Ground or its members to be anything but friendly to our customers and staff." No doubt this is true.. But by all accounts Osama bin Laden is also very personable, soft spoken and has gentle eyes.
Yes, the Common Ground bakers in Hamburg act "friendly and warm." But their money is supporting a white supremacist empire. Their leader, Eugene Spriggs, is cited in the Boston Herald as lamenting the end of slavery and celebrating the assassination of Martin Luther King. Money spent at the Lexington Co-op on Common Ground breads goes directly to supporting Spriggs’ group’s multinational business and real estate investments - including a new "mega development project" the group is currently putting the finishing touches on in Tampa, Florida. As self-indulgent liberals continue to buy tasty loafs of bread from "nice" bakers, they continue to fund a growing empire that targets vulnerable minorities around the world.
In their letter, the Co-op management goes on to explain that they will look into the allegations presented here, writing, "Our plan is to research the available information in greater detail and within context. We will share this information and consult with spiritual and moral leaders from the community, member-owners, Common Ground themselves, and other co-ops. We will then make a decision on how to proceed."
Companies such as Estee Lauder and LL Bean, which are not particularly progressive, figured this out long ago and stopped carrying Twelve Tribes products. There is no context in which such hate speech is acceptable. And it shouldn’t take consultation with a "spiritual" or "moral leader" to figure this out.

Cuppa Joe
01-01-2006, 15:04
Amazing how things can blown out of proportion on this forum. Not that what is being said is bad or wrong it's just not dealing with hiking or what a thru hiker may want (i am referring to this thread).

The Twelve Tribes were wonderful people from what I experienced with them. They came to The Gathering and provided a LOT of people with food down in Billville area. Wonderful soups and other warm foods for a cold evening. Never once, at least to me, did they try to preach.

The next morning they provided us with a great breakfast before we headed out. No questions asked and so on. That was my experience with the Twelve Tribes. Others from my group staed at the hostel and they loved it.

This year, when we dod the Long Trail, we will be staying at the Twelve Tribes hostel on our waty through the area.

Jsut wanted to try to bring this thread back on track

Cuppa

Nightwalker
01-01-2006, 15:47
Just wanted to try to bring this thread back on track

Cuppa
Goo'luck wit' dat!

:D

Sly
01-01-2006, 19:23
Just reading all the negativity makes me want to go there. "Self-indulgence", yeah that's the ticket. ;)

Wolf - 23000
01-01-2006, 20:21
Cuppa,

I don't think the thread had strayed. I think people have a right to know what they are really supporting by staying there. I don’t care if the place is “free” or not, what they support and stand for is straight out a cult, no different than many others that prey on those that are hurt or vulnerable.

I stayed there several times myself before learning how appears are deceiving. They may preach love and worship toward GOD but they are anything but. I lost one of my closes friends because of them. I for one don’t what anyone else to experience that or losing a spouse because the 12-tribes brainwash them into believe it is the right thing to do.

Wolf

bfitz
01-02-2006, 02:39
Cuppa,

I don't think the thread had strayed. I think people have a right to know what they are really supporting by staying there. ...
Wolf
Since it's free, you really aren't supporting them. It's more like a drain, so long as you don't succumb to the brainwashing and join up. The hostel is obviously a PR/recruiting tool, but that doesn't mean a hiker can't have a good experience there, mabye you could even try to do a little deprogramming while you were there! Just don't give any money or drink any kool-aid.

Tinker
01-02-2006, 17:58
I met a young man of "The Twelve Tribes" last year at the Gathering in Hanover, NH. He was quite pleasant, and seemed to accept much of what I said I believed, things which I was able to quote out of the Bible, but he insisted that I should consider leaving my small non-denominational church of 12 adults and their children and join their group. As a young man, maybe it had not occurred to him that I had a different "mission" in life which necessitated me being at a different place at this time. It seems to me that the "cult" description of his group may be well founded, especially after reading the message by a former member. In the book of the Revelation of St. John, it is written that a man is cursed if he add to or subtract from the teachings in "this book" (I assume that refers to the book of the Revelation). If the above admonitions (warnings) of the former member are indeed true, one would wonder if this is a "cursed" group. Certainly, the founder of any church is entitled to some reverence, but, to assign his words the title of "unquestionable" reeks of CULT.
People who come to my church are free to visit with us whenever they would like (they'll have to wait if I'm in the shower):jump , and to question any of our teachings. If we can't answer them with the Bible, we have no answers, and they (or you) will have to ask "the Man upstairs" them(your)selves.:)

smokymtnsteve
01-02-2006, 18:09
Atheism STOPS Religious Terrorism!!! :banana

ridgewalker777
01-02-2006, 20:39
In considering the "Twelve Tribes" and whether a visit at their Rutland hostel may be good, reflect on the generosity and good will given over and over again by them to strangers. In judging, consider that while it may be possible, it is unlikely that hospitality of their level will be shown to you in frosty New England, let alone in Rutland. If you like your American culture-- plastic, consumer-oriented and directed by a big $$$--what they are doing will probably be a threat to your values. I wish there were more houses of hospitality and old fashioned values along the Appalachian Trail and throughout America. I say let brotherly love continue and pray and hope for healthy change in this hospitable group if you find their beliefs contrary to your standards. Live and let live.

dperry
01-02-2006, 21:12
Atheism STOPS Religious Terrorism!!! :banana

. . .and replaces it with atheistic terrorism. See Stalin, Joseph; Mao, Zedong; Pot, Pol; the Kim family; Castro, Fidel; etc.

Wolf - 23000
01-09-2006, 02:26
Bfitz,

Eating food, drink, even a stay over night real is not going to drain them that much especially if you consider where they came up with the resources to pay for it all. It may seem harmless enough but not everyone is as strong minded as you. Sadly some do get caught up in their brainwashing. Giving up everything including friends or sometimes family. If it is someone you care about that gets caught up in their brainwashing, I think you might see why some of us feel very strongly that hikers (and everyone else) should stay far away from them.

Wolf

bfitz
01-09-2006, 09:46
Bfitz,

Eating food, drink, even a stay over night real is not going to drain them that much especially if you consider where they came up with the resources to pay for it all. It may seem harmless enough but not everyone is as strong minded as you. Sadly some do get caught up in their brainwashing. Giving up everything including friends or sometimes family. If it is someone you care about that gets caught up in their brainwashing, I think you might see why some of us feel very strongly that hikers (and everyone else) should stay far away from them.

Wolf
Yeah, I encountered them in 2003, they were preparing the hostel but hadn't opened it yet. I was going to stay, when they invited me, but wanted to do some carousing in town, and the set up kind of spooked me (they wanted to take the females in our group to another location and were weird about it... When I realized who they were I was glad...I've encountered them before recruiting in grateful dead parking lots and such. I was kidding a little bit...they're obviously a wacko cult, and everyone should view them as such. But if I was hiking, and I needed or really wanted a free place to stay...do they feed you for free too...?

neo
01-09-2006, 16:33
maybe i will stay there this year when i pass thru rutland,i am the highest ranking cleric in the tetragrammaton,there is no way they can brainwash me lol:cool: neo

bfitz
01-09-2006, 17:50
maybe i will stay there this year when i pass thru rutland,i am the highest ranking cleric in the tetragrammaton,there is no way they can brainwash me lol:cool: neoJust make sure you're taking your prozium...

Israel
01-09-2006, 18:54
In considering the "Twelve Tribes" and whether a visit at their Rutland hostel may be good, reflect on the generosity and good will given over and over again by them to strangers. In judging, consider that while it may be possible, it is unlikely that hospitality of their level will be shown to you in frosty New England, let alone in Rutland. If you like your American culture-- plastic, consumer-oriented and directed by a big $$$--what they are doing will probably be a threat to your values. I wish there were more houses of hospitality and old fashioned values along the Appalachian Trail and throughout America. I say let brotherly love continue and pray and hope for healthy change in this hospitable group if you find their beliefs contrary to your standards. Live and let live.


Ridgewalker,
Please go move in with them for a while and report how you feel in about 3 months of living there. There is a lot that goes on you don't see unless you stay a while.

Best of luck.

Chezikah
01-09-2006, 20:21
It seems clear that the Twelve Tribes embody traits that could only be called _SATANIC_. They throw up a flurry of arguments to prove their validity whilst breeding the very same pharisee mentality that put Christ on the cross. And they do this unrepentant, devoid of any honest introspection or self-reflection.

Many who once lived in this HELL-cult can confirm that the Twelve Tribes are without fault and blameless...IN THEIR OWN EYES! Even after horrible facts are made public, broadcast to the world, they will only make a feeble public apology. While inside they will be "witch-hunting" and crucifying anyone who even suggests there may be a problem.

Does this sound like a Holy life? A life inspired by God? It depends on which "God" your talking about.
The Tribes serve the God of the mind. A God of reasoning and elaborate theologies. A God that cares more about HOW they look than how they actually are. A God that can overlook abuse and mistreatment in order to have a "nice" cafe. Yes, a God that doesnt care about the human cost to have HIS kingdom built.

Who prospers in this HELL-cult? Definitely not the HUMBLE! Definitely not the WEAK! They are trampled and trashed, worked to exhaustion and then treated with contempt! While the ELITE enjoy "special" favors reserved only for them! Does this sound like the first church in the book of Acts? Or more like one of the churches in REVELATIONS!!!

Yes, the facts are obvious to those who have eyes to see.
A cult from Hell.

smokymtnsteve
01-09-2006, 20:27
all religions are cults,,,

and they would be from Hell if such a palce actually exsisted

Rain Man
01-09-2006, 23:24
all religions are cults,,,

and they would be from Hell if such a palce actually exsisted

Steve, you are the Wise One of the North!

Rain:sunMan

.

BooBoo
01-10-2006, 19:33
Go to www.hipforums.com (http://www.hipforums.com) and click on the Communal Living forum. I've read some horror stories on there as well.

They have a commune near Yogi's old place in Upstate NY. They would allways wave to us and smile whenever we drove by. Yogi had several of their pamphlets and had thought of paying them a visit and maybe even worshipping with them. I thank the Lord that he never did!

Nightwalker
01-10-2006, 22:04
Steve, you are the Wise One of the North!

Rain:sunMan
Boy, I don't get that one...

smokymtnsteve
01-11-2006, 00:54
Boy, I don't get that one...

itz b cause U iz a CULT MEMBER yoreself thar , Frank

I LUVZ u any way...:)

but U CULT MEMBERS is all brainwashed and blieve in stuff dat ain't real...you blieve inn make up stuff.

u C thar ain't no place called HELL..

cept for HALE county TX which has as itz county seat "THE CENTER OF HALE"

Nightwalker
01-11-2006, 01:12
itz b cause U iz a CULT MEMBER yoreself thar , FrankNah, the group talked about here, now that's a cult!

I LUVZ u any way...:) Same to ya, ya old buzzard.
but U CULT MEMBERS is all brainwashed and blieve in stuff dat ain't real...you blieve inn make up stuff.Do you have any proof for that, or is it, uh, faith? :)

u C thar ain't no place called HELL..Again, where's yer info from? Old Ed?

I pray for you. I hope and pray that you stay healthy for a long time. I really hope and pray that the scales fall off of your eyes one day. You'd be a heck of a prize, there, buddy-boy. The old Devil would be really angry at that loss, and that's no joke!

smokymtnsteve
01-11-2006, 01:16
have U ever seen the devil

with his ole iron shovel

when he's a sracthing up the gravel

at the ole cross roads?


have ye ever seen the devil

with his pitchfork and ladle

and his ole iron shovel

and his ole gourdhead????

smokymtnsteve
01-11-2006, 01:33
Main Entry: cult
Pronunciation: 'k&lt
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate -- more at WHEEL
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion


youse qual-e-fies on ### 1,2,and 5

betic4lyf
01-11-2006, 01:33
this is a cult www.godhates****.com not made up or exagerated

smokymtnsteve
01-11-2006, 01:34
ALL religions is cults

Chezikah
01-11-2006, 16:42
The Food Co-op and The Hate Group
Art voice Magazine
October 20, 2005
Michael Niman

It seems wholesome enough, looking at the loaves of fresh locally baked organic whole grain bread lined up at the Lexington Food Co-op - each one bearing the homey label of Hamburg’s Common Ground Bakery. An actual visit to the bakery reinforces this bucolic image. There you’ll find a small shop with smiling friendly bakers and the lofting aroma of fresh bread. What’s not readily apparent is that shoppers on four continents are simultaneously walking into Common Ground Bakeries and experiencing the same illusion of a small independent community bake shop. In actuality, however, what they’re walking into is the local franchise of a growing multinational organization. The twelve Tribes, dedicated to spreading a reactionary racist, anti-Semitic, sexist homophobic ideology.
The press started paying attention to Twelve Tribes around five years ago when their Common Ground bakeries entered into concert/events catering business, showing up at music festivals in Europe and Australia as well as stateside venues such as Buffalo’s Elmwood Festival of the Arts (where they were subsequently banned). Along with their tasty snacks and sandwiches, came leaflets, booklets and a recruiting spiel.
Racism
At Britain’s Glastonbury Festival in 2000, they caught the attention of the Guardian after disseminating pamphlets describing Jews as a "cursed" people, and magazines arguing in favor of racial segregation. A year later at Australia’s Woodford Festival, Australia’s Courier Mail cited the group’s reclusive leader, Elbert Eugene Spriggs, as claiming "It is horrible that someone would rise up to abolish slavery - what a wonderful opportunity that blacks could be brought over here [the U.S.] as slaves." The Boston Herald reports that the group teaches their home schooled children a doctrine of white racial superiority. They go on to cite Spriggs, who argues that submission to whites "is the only provision by which will be saved," and that the civil rights movement brought "disorder to the established social order." Spriggs defends slavery as the natural order, explaining that "if the slaves were mistreated it was the fault of the slaves." The antebellum south, he argues, maintained a proper social order - where black slaves "had respect for people. They got along well because they were submissive."
The Twelve Tribes follow up Spriggs’ quotes by advocating for racial segregation both in their publications and on their website. In a piece entitled "Multicultural Madness," for example, they tell the story of a "rich young yuppie" living in an integrated neighborhood. "From one side of his house," they write, "comes the throbbing bass of his neighbor’s stereo as they gather out back for some reggae." On the other side, the mud people are "laughing raucously over the grating syncopation of something called rap" [italics in original]. The piece goes on to explain, "Let’s face it. It is just not reasonable to expect people to live contentedly alongside of others who are culturally and racially different. This is unnatural." People, they explain, have an instinctive desire to live with those of like mind, to congregate in neighborhoods with those of the same race and ethnic origin." This, they claim, is because we have a "natural loathing of perverse and immoral people."
The group, however, still purported not to be racist, arguing that segregation is part of God’s natural order, in essence blasphemously passing the racist ball to God. They’re not racist, you see, they just worship a racist god. Whenever communities question Twelve Tribes businesses about racism, the group parades John Stringer, an African American, to personally counter the charges. Stringer, who they shuffle from city to city and pimp on their website, argues that "our race is becoming increasingly known for its self-destructive behavior." According to Stringer, blacks are responsible for their history of subjection. "The only way to save our race," he explains, "is that we would submit to reason and responsibility, just as all the other minorities who are thriving." This simplistic and ahistorical rationale fits right in with the enlightened racism often espoused in liberal circles, while obfuscating persistent institutional racism and supporting racist stereotypes. This is obvious to people who actually listen to Stringer, instead of just looking at him. In actuality, Stringer needed to submit to more than "reason" and "responsibility." The Boston Herald again cites Twelve Tribes leader Elbert Spriggs, who explains that blacks "must submit to [the twelve tribes] with the attitude to be a servant."
[B]Anti-Semitism
Twelve Tribes members, sort of like wiggers, dismiss charges of racism, explaining that they can’t possibly be racist since they sing black spiritual songs in their homes. Likewise, the group claims that charges of anti-Semitism are also false, because they sing Israeli folk songs, give themselves Hebrew names, and have a purported Jewish person traveling the country saying so. Their Jew, Shalom Israel, as it turns out, isn’t Jewish.
All Jews, they argue, are born "cursed." According to the group, Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus and hence "called down the guilt of his murder on themselves and their children." They argue away the fact that today’s Christianity and Islam both descend from the Judaism of Christ’s time, explaining that the curse of the Jews is cancelled by renouncing one’s Jewishness. "For Jews who follow our master, however," they write, "these curses are removed." This, they argue, is why they aren’t anti-Semitic- because they will help any Jew who is willing to renounce their culture, history and beliefs. If the Jew ceases to be a Jew, they are welcome among the Twelve Tribes. Likewise, African-Americans willing to blame themselves for their own historic oppression are also welcome among the Twelve Tribes.
Misogyny
While individual blacks and Jews can earn the right to work wage-free in a Common Ground bakeries by renouncing their people and struggles, women have no such option. They will always be women, who, according to the Twelve Tribes, were created solely "to be a friend and a helper for man." Sort of like a dog. They explain that women have two basic purposes: "to be a wife and a mother." As a mother, a woman is supposed to raise her children as directed "according to her husband’s heart." Any additional alternative life goals, or failure to "submit" to a husbands "loving" demands, goes against "God’s proper order."
They lament that, "Sadly enough today though, many women strive to be something ‘better.’ " "Woman, " they explain, "is not meant to rule over man." Hence, according to the group’s website, "they strive to be what they are not. They want careers, or money, or whatever they think will give them identity and fulfillment..." A true woman, however, they argue, "doesn’t need to become ‘greater’ than she was created to be." Interestingly enough, one of the things it seems the Twelve Tribes believe that women were created to do, is bake bread for long hours without receiving a paycheck. This natural order seems to have bestowed upon the Twelve Tribes a competitive advantage over other organic whole grain bakeries who still have to dole out Caesar’s image to their heathen workforces.
Child Abuse
The Twelve Tribes has come under repeated fire for child labor violations in many of their factories and businesses. In one celebrated case, their Common Sense Natural Soap and Body Care division lost a lucrative contract manufacturing Estee Lauder’s Origins line after Estee Lauder found children working in their factory. The Twelve Tribes call the charges "false," unfounded and slanderous," claiming the 14 year old boys were simply helping their fathers at work. In similar incidents, the New York Department of Labor busted the group for using child labor in a Paleville candle factory and the Sundance mail order catalog cancelled a contract with the group’s Common Sense Furniture division after the Coxsackie, New York furniture factory became the subject of a child labor controversy.
The Twelve Tribes claim that it is beneficial for children to help their parents work instead of, they explain, "wasting their free time on empty amusements and dissipation, which leads only to bad behavior." The group seems obsessed with "bad behavior," writing off entire "countries like Scandinavia" [sic] as plagued with the malady. Their response to bad behavior on the part of their children, however they define it, is for the adults to indulge themselves in bad behavior of their own, whipping kids with a reed-tipped device they call "the rod." On their own website they explain that "To discipline your children is tantamount to loving them...it shows the child they are loved and cared about."
Children who have escaped from Twelve Tribes compounds, along with adult ex-members, talk of abuse, not love. Noah Jones, for example, left the group’s flagship compound in Island Pond Vermont at the age of 22. In an interview with Burlington’s ABC TV affiliate (WVNY), Jones claimed "They spanked me from my feet to my neck, all the way. I was black and blue, basically head to toe." He recalls being beaten with the rod and locked in basements as a child and later, when he got older, he says he was beaten with a two-by-four.
Jones was ushered to freedom by a sort of underground railroad that, according to WVNY, has "helped dozens of teenagers and children" to escape Twelve Tribes abuse. One of the ‘conductors,’ speaking to WVNY, explained "The anger of these kids coming out is amazing. They’ve been hit by so many people that they can’t even count..."
Zeb Wiseman, another escapee, told the Boston Herald that his mother received no medical care when she was sick with cancer. When she subsequently died, they told him his mother’s death was an example of how God punishes sinners. Wiseman claims that he was then shuffled between twelve tribes communities and beaten daily from the time he was five until he was fifteen. Among his sins, according to Wiseman, was listening to "outside music." He also claims that his schooling stopped when he was 13 and that he began working when he was ten years old. As a rule, Twelve Tribes children do not receive high school diplomas, and they are forbidden to apply for GED degrees or to attend college. This lack of education hinders escapees in their search for work. Essentially, the organization is breeding its own free labor force.
Acquiescence
The Guardian quotes a 24 year old Jewish woman attending the Glastonbury Music Festival as being "shocked on two counts." "First," she explained, she was shocked "that they [Common Ground] were there at all, and secondly, that no one else seemed to care." It’s this apathy- this gross willingness to silently acquiesce to the presence of a hate group, that is truly appalling. But it’s also enlightening.
Then Twelve Tribes is building its empire by feeding on the resources of some of the world’s most progressive communities, specifically because they are also apathetic and self-indulgent enough to support even those organizations who are ideologically opposed to their very presence. Hence, we see the Twelve Tribes prospering, for example, with a restaurant on Ithaca, New York’s signature Commons, despite that city’s history for progressive politics. And we see them opening up on the fringes of alternative and activist communities across New England - often finding a distribution network for their products among food co-ops and hip health food stores. Here in Buffalo, the newly expanded Lexington Food Co-op is the Twelve Tribes largest independent bread retailer, with Common Ground bread dominating their shelves.
The aforementioned concertgoer explained to The Guardian that "People forget there is no such thing as a benign racist, no matter how tasty his vegetarian couscous." This is the problem. The bread is good. And the Common Ground people seem friendly enough. Peace Studies scholar and anthropologist Robert Knox Dentan writes: "The impoverishment and polarization of US politics means that we expect our enemies to be all-evil, but they’re not." Dentan goes on to explain that "Heinrich Himmler famously loved dogs and children. There’s a chilling photo of him hugging a little Jewish boy as the kid was waiting for the train to Auschwitz. The Twelve Tribes, Dentan surmises, "would be nice to that little boy too, as long as he converted to their brand of Christianity. They’re not, most of them, mean people." According to Dentan, "fascism isn’t going to come to the US in the form of goose stepping Storm troopers (SWAT teams aside). It’s certainly going to depend on the help of extreme religious groups like the Tribes.
The Co-op’s Response to Hate
The analogy is frightening. Three weeks after I shared with the Lexington Co-op management and board the data which I subsequently used in this article, I received an official response signed by their store manager and a member of their board. It started out reading, "The Co-op takes it very seriously that one of our primary, longstanding local producers is being labeled a "hate group." On the next line, however, they write "We have never found Common Ground or its members to be anything but friendly to our customers and staff." No doubt this is true.. But by all accounts Osama bin Laden is also very personable, soft spoken and has gentle eyes.
Yes, the Common Ground bakers in Hamburg act "friendly and warm." But their money is supporting a white supremacist empire. Their leader, Eugene Spriggs, is cited in the Boston Herald as lamenting the end of slavery and celebrating the assassination of Martin Luther King. Money spent at the Lexington Co-op on Common Ground breads goes directly to supporting Spriggs’ group’s multinational business and real estate investments - including a new "mega development project" the group is currently putting the finishing touches on in Tampa, Florida. As self-indulgent liberals continue to buy tasty loafs of bread from "nice" bakers, they continue to fund a growing empire that targets vulnerable minorities around the world.
In their letter, the Co-op management goes on to explain that they will look into the allegations presented here, writing, "Our plan is to research the available information in greater detail and within context. We will share this information and consult with spiritual and moral leaders from the community, member-owners, Common Ground themselves, and other co-ops. We will then make a decision on how to proceed."
Companies such as Estee Lauder and LL Bean, which are not particularly progressive, figured this out long ago and stopped carrying Twelve Tribes products. There is no context in which such hate speech is acceptable. And it shouldn’t take consultation with a "spiritual" or "moral leader" to figure this out.

Chezikah
01-11-2006, 20:10
IDENTIFYING MARKS OF A
HIGH CONTROL GROUP(CULT)
Can community members make decisions for themselves?
1. Led by Elbert Eugene Spriggs who claims to be an "Apostle" and "the prophet Elijah." Spriggs says of himself, "I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its practicality". (Apostolic Role) He also says, "This is why Elijah must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the church to the Israel of YHWH. The Roman, Greek and Protestant are completely off the foundation (Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today).

2. Elbert Spriggs also claims a "direct pipeline to God", and that he is a special messenger with a unique revelation! "Yoneq (Spriggs) expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course." (Letter from Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb). And in another teaching Spriggs says, "This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday." (Observing The Sabbath).

3. Only Elbert Spriggs is allowed to give original teaching, and his writings are the final authority within the communities. Elbert Eugene Spriggs has no real accountability.

4. Community members must obey the teachings of Spriggs or risk shunning or excommunication. "Everything we hear in the teachings we are required to obey." (Repentance 4/2/91). "If an elder questioned Spriggs' teachings he could lose his place of authority. Dissenting elders were also talked about in the apostolic workers Meetings." Michael Painter, Former Member

5. Every person must submit to the elders who are in submission to the leader (Spriggs). Demand absolute obedience.

6. Inhibits critical thinking so that a "group think" predominates. Followers give up the right to make value judgments of their own. (They cannot reason). Behavior Control

7. There is intense control over community members in the areas of dress, and the regulation of where one lives. "When we are in the Body we have no independent action or movement. AWM 6/12/88) "When God commands us, if we stop to consider the matter to see if there is sufficient reason for us to do it, then we are still living according to the flesh. If the elders say, you need to move to...' and you say, 'what is the reason for that? I'm doing fine here, etc., no matter how good you may do in the flesh, you cannot go past that rebellion" Reasoning 11/I 8/90



A. All men must wear their hair in short ponytails with a long, trimmed beard. All women wear long dresses, skirts or “Sus” pants. Women also have long hair. Unity with the “church” is heavily stressed, usually to the point where it becomes the chief doctrine. Unity is considered to be more important than “Doctrine". (Behavior Control)

B. Food restrictions are also tightly regulated. This is not only in regards to what a member can eat but even his enjoyment of food and how fast he eats. "Lev 11:46…A LAW NEVER CHANGES...There will always be clean and unclean beast, birds, fish. The law for us is to eat what is EATABLE. ALL FOOD IS CLEAN. We must distinguish the unclean and the clean - between the animal that is food and the animal that is not food… (Priesthood Distinguish Between the clean and Unclean). "If it is not a need it is an act of the flesh - like eating when you don't need to. Eating for pleasure is greed. No one who does this will enter the Kingdom, also no one who eats fast- even when you are alone - will enter the kingdom... If we eat hurriedly it means we don't know God or our brothers and sisters.'

C. Twelve tribes’ members live communally where their movement, thoughts and actions are monitored.
8 Emotion control is also practiced within the communities, narrowing a person's emotional responses. The gray areas of life are slowly eliminated, and everything progressively becomes black and white. This manipulation and narrowing of emotions occurs in three ways. –Bob. Pardon NEIRR

9. The Twelve Tribes Community practices brutal information control. Community members are not permitted to read newspapers, books or listen to the radio. This causes the individual member to become highly dependent on the group.

10. The community claims a special exalted status for itself. "We are the light and the hope of the world. We are the only ones who can reclaim this earth for its Maker. We are the only ones whose lives of love and pure devotion, like a bride for her groom, can bring heaven to earth all other attempts to do so are not merely futile, they are evil..”

11. Members are encouraged (strongly) to break ties with family and friends and society. The Community becomes a replacement family and society.
Restricts the ability to leave the group.

MarcnNJ
01-12-2006, 16:15
I wonder if these people (TT) would have gotten along well with Bill Irwin....

Chezikah
01-12-2006, 18:04
Child Discipline
"When there is a stubborn child you should shorten the child's life?"
When there is a stubborn child you should shorten the child's life. It limits the family.
-Training Up Our Children In The Way They Should Go.

Yesterday I was down at the river and Yochanan (Haggai's son) was swimming and I saw that he had stripes on his bottom. I thought that if there were other people there and they saw those marks,they should know that he has a father who loves him.
-Breaking of bread 7/15/89

From the cradle to the grave you must discipline your children. From the age of 6 months you would start disciplining them with a rod on the palm of their hands and then you would stop when they are about one year old. From there you would discipline the children with a rod on their buttocks until they submit...
-Elbert Spriggs (Yoneq)

Our children need to fear the rod. The severity of our discipline should cause them to never want to be disciplined again. Don't be afraid of your "baby". That he is going to be more than you can handle if you confront his bad attitudes or deal with his disobedience. For we have no other purpose than to deal with our children.. So, take action and "beat the tar out of him".
-Letter From Abel 4/6/85

The method needs to be controlled, slow and hard. He should never want another wippen (sic) as long as he lives.
-Elders Meeting 2/11/78

Reproof gives wisdom to the child. Submission comes only through reverent submission (fear) of the Lord. Execute judgment and draw blood.
-Elders Meeting 2/11/78

A six month old baby can be trained what no means. Lightly use the rod not your hand. When the baby is wiggling when their diaper is changed, spank them to stop wiggling.
-AWM 3/16/88

A man who beats his son frequently will reap the benefits. He will be proud of him among his acquaintances.
-Letter From Abel 4/6/85

Bend his neck and bruise his ribs while he is young. Allow him no independence in childhood, or he will hurt you very deeply. Be strict with your son and persevere if not then you will nurture his insolence.
-Letter From Abel 4/6/85

Chezikah
01-12-2006, 18:07
IDENTIFYING MARKS OF A
HIGH CONTROL GROUP(CULT)
Can community members make decisions for themselves?
1. Led by Elbert Eugene Spriggs who claims to be an "Apostle" and "the prophet Elijah." Spriggs says of himself, "I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its practicality". (Apostolic Role) He also says, "This is why Elijah must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the church to the Israel of YHWH. The Roman, Greek and Protestant are completely off the foundation (Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today).

2. Elbert Spriggs also claims a "direct pipeline to God", and that he is a special messenger with a unique revelation! "Yoneq (Spriggs) expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course." (Letter from Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb). And in another teaching Spriggs says, "This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday." (Observing The Sabbath).

3. Only Elbert Spriggs is allowed to give original teaching, and his writings are the final authority within the communities. Elbert Eugene Spriggs has no real accountability.

4. Community members must obey the teachings of Spriggs or risk shunning or excommunication. "Everything we hear in the teachings we are required to obey." (Repentance 4/2/91). "If an elder questioned Spriggs' teachings he could lose his place of authority. Dissenting elders were also talked about in the apostolic workers Meetings." Michael Painter, Former Member

5. Every person must submit to the elders who are in submission to the leader (Spriggs). Demand absolute obedience.

6. Inhibits critical thinking so that a "group think" predominates. Followers give up the right to make value judgments of their own. (They cannot reason). Behavior Control

7. There is intense control over community members in the areas of dress, and the regulation of where one lives. "When we are in the Body we have no independent action or movement. AWM 6/12/88) "When God commands us, if we stop to consider the matter to see if there is sufficient reason for us to do it, then we are still living according to the flesh. If the elders say, you need to move to...' and you say, 'what is the reason for that? I'm doing fine here, etc., no matter how good you may do in the flesh, you cannot go past that rebellion" Reasoning 11/I 8/90


A. All men must wear their hair in short ponytails with a long, trimmed beard. All women wear long dresses, skirts or “Sus” pants. Women also have long hair. Unity with the “church” is heavily stressed, usually to the point where it becomes the chief doctrine. Unity is considered to be more important than “Doctrine". (Behavior Control)

B. Food restrictions are also tightly regulated. This is not only in regards to what a member can eat but even his enjoyment of food and how fast he eats. "Lev 11:46…A LAW NEVER CHANGES...There will always be clean and unclean beast, birds, fish. The law for us is to eat what is EATABLE. ALL FOOD IS CLEAN. We must distinguish the unclean and the clean - between the animal that is food and the animal that is not food… (Priesthood Distinguish Between the clean and Unclean). "If it is not a need it is an act of the flesh - like eating when you don't need to. Eating for pleasure is greed. No one who does this will enter the Kingdom, also no one who eats fast- even when you are alone - will enter the kingdom... If we eat hurriedly it means we don't know God or our brothers and sisters.'

C. Twelve tribes’ members live communally where their movement, thoughts and actions are monitored.8 Emotion control is also practiced within the communities, narrowing a person's emotional responses. The gray areas of life are slowly eliminated, and everything progressively becomes black and white. This manipulation and narrowing of emotions occurs in three ways. –Bob. Pardon NEIRR

9. The Twelve Tribes Community practices brutal information control. Community members are not permitted to read newspapers, books or listen to the radio. This causes the individual member to become highly dependent on the group.

10. The community claims a special exalted status for itself. "We are the light and the hope of the world. We are the only ones who can reclaim this earth for its Maker. We are the only ones whose lives of love and pure devotion, like a bride for her groom, can bring heaven to earth all other attempts to do so are not merely futile, they are evil..”

11. Members are encouraged (strongly) to break ties with family and friends and society. The Community becomes a replacement family and society.
Restricts the ability to leave the group.

Chezikah
03-03-2006, 16:24
Well, I was discussing this TT's teaching with a Christian man, who happens to be the grandson of a freed slave, who later became a pastor. He quickly pointed me to the clearly gross error and misinterpretation of the supporting scriptures the TT's use, which are the same ones as the slave owners of the old south used. I was very surprised that I hadn't noticed this obvious and glaring error before. I also felt foolish that I missed it. IT IS SO OBVIOUS!

Here it is:

After Ham went in to Noah's tent (when Noah was drunk) and saw his father's nakedness, exposing Noah to shame, Noah sobered up the next day and pronounced a curse, BUT IT WASN'T ON HAM!!! IT WAS ON CANAAN!!!!

The curse was not on Black people, because Canaan wasn't black! Canaan was the father of the Canaanites (Amorites, Jebusites, etc.), whom Joshua had displaced fulfilling the curse, that Canaan would serve Shem (Israel).

DOH! Cush, Ham's OTHER SON was the one who settled in Ethiopia and is therefore considered to be the father of the black race, not Ham, whom the TT's say is the father of black people, who are under the curse!! The curse was not on Cush or Ham but on Canaan!!

SO.... This teaching is clearly errant and heretical (besides being downright racist), because it appeals to scripture that is simply read incorrectly! Hmmm... maybe someone should tell them this, because it is kind of an Emperor's New Clothes type thing. They are so clearly wrong and need to know it. Does this mean that they can be wrong and fallible in their interpretations of other scriptures? YOU BET!

Rain Man
03-03-2006, 16:38
... the clearly gross error and misinterpretation of the supporting scriptures the TT's use, which are the same ones as the slave owners of the old south used. ....

SO.... This teaching is clearly errant and heretical (besides being downright racist), ...

Just as your own comment was "rascist" in the Yankee supremalist - provincialist sense.

Exactly what "gross error and misinterpretation" of the Scriptures did all the New England sailing families and communities use as they made their fortunes on CAPTURING and TRANSPORTING and SELLING the slaves??? Not to mention killing and driving off all the owners of Northern lands,-- the native Americans. For you to choose to only mention the South and whitewash the North is quite offensive.

As the Master Christian said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone. You might want to delve deeper in the teachings of the Bible before you start insulting a whole people with your holier-than-thou pronouncements.

Rain Man

.

RITBlake
03-03-2006, 18:35
this thread has moved way beyond its original intention. Its just spoiled now, time to shut down the thread

Ridge
03-03-2006, 23:23
this thread has moved way beyond its original intention. Its just spoiled now, time to shut down the thread


The problem I have is what the "original intention" actually was. Time to shut down this thread was right after post 1 was made. However, I do like hearing about "NoTell Hotels" and Cults that are found near the AT. I stay the hell away, and they better stay the hell away from me.

Jester2000
03-06-2006, 13:46
As the Master Christian said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
.

I could've sworn that Jesus was Jewish.

chomp
03-06-2006, 14:03
I could've sworn that Jesus was Jewish.

Funny - he didn't look Drewish.

Wolf - 23000
03-08-2006, 02:46
this thread has moved way beyond its original intention. Its just spoiled now, time to shut down the thread

RITBlake,

The Twelve Tribes are a CULT and hikers should be warned as such. This thread has moved beyon its intent but it's does have it's place.

Wolf

bfitz
03-08-2006, 16:27
Funny - he didn't look Drewish.
My brains... are going into my feet!

Chezikah
03-26-2006, 11:52
This article addresses the fact that “Yoneq” is not a linguist and his ability to interpret the Bible is the same as a plumber’s ability to set up nuclear fusion. He just has NO expertise in the original languages what-so-ever (other than the elusive “anointing”). Then he has the audacity to send people to the Lake of Fire for questioning his interpretations and credentials. A true Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
“The things I want to speak to you about are things that have been misunderstood for at least 1900 years. That is because the Bible is written in a way that assumes you already know what it is talking about…But for 1900 years it has been misunderstood. The Apostles back then would travel from village to village, from house to house and teach these things verbally. and (sic) then they would write a letter and confirm some things they had already spoken about — they did not explain it all again in the letters because it was understood. But this understanding has been lost. People in Christianity do not have it. Peter said that in his letters some things are hard to understand by the untaught — they have been taught by the wrong people.” Elbert Spriggs, More On The First And Second Death, 11/19/89, p.21
It must be stated in the very beginning of this section that we have never personally met with or spoken to “Yoneq,” Elbert Eugene Spriggs, Jr. This is not the result of lack of desire or effort on our part, and has been very disappointing to us. We have made repeated requests to meet with him. After all, he is the “apostle” of the group, and it is his own teachings that indicate what the group truly teaches and believes. This is also the first of any comprehensive analysis of The Twelve Tribes. It would seem that the “apostle” would find it important enough to meet with “these outsiders” to correct any misperceptions on their part. In a letter sent to Nicki Cruz by Eddie Wiseman (second in authority under Spriggs), dated 2/8/95, Mr. Wiseman writes:
“In fact we tried on several occasions to get with you after my wife and I initially contacted you in Kansas City. We wanted to discuss who we are and what we believe with you but you didn’t seem to have time to meet with us. Elbert Spriggs and Jose Rodrigez came to one of your crusade meetings in south Florida to see you, but your schedule was too busy.”
It is our feeling, also, that Mr. Spriggs has missed a golden opportunity to “set the record straight.”
One question to ask in evaluating any group that claims to have the truth is, “Where does your authority come from?” This question may arise in regards to their rituals, practices, or beliefs that deviate from an historical, orthodox understanding of Scripture. To truly understand The Twelve Tribes “Yoneq,” Elbert Eugene Spriggs, founder and “apostle,” has to be understood in terms of the position, stature and authority he holds within the group. We were continuously told that he was only “one amongst many leaders” in the Tribes, however ex-members and hundreds of his own teachings (that are disseminated worldwide to all the Tribes) give a far different picture. These teachings are their “inner doctrine,” and are not for public consumption.2 No one else in the Tribes is able to give original teachings, the teachings of others are merely a rehash of what Spriggs has already taught. This is because it is believed that he is an “apostle” and has the authority similar to that of Paul. This divine authority is demonstrated by the fact that he has brought the Twelve Tribes into existence.3 There are other “apostolic workers” in the group but they clearly do not carry the same weight/authority that Spriggs does. The following quotes clearly reveal his position and authority. These are just a very few of the many that could be quoted. Taken in the total context of his teachings they create a very clear picture.
Sole Leadership
“Ha-Emeq (Marsha Spriggs - rp): When Yoneq (Spriggs) was talking it reminded me of my first love, my first faith. I remembered how I came out of the world. There was no community like now. Just follow Yoneq.” Breaking of Bread, Sus, 2/24/90, p.5.
“The day when I heard that you would come in a few weeks, I was crying out so much. I didn’t know how to continue - I was really finished. But when we heard you were coming, that gave me strength to go on. I can’t wait until you arrive - I long for you so much…I appreciate you so much.” Letter to Yoneq and Ha-Emeq from Shua, (a member of The Twelve Tribes) 6/94.
“My three dear brothers and friends. I am writing this to you by way of commission by our apostle…I know that all of you there are filled with the life that Yoneq has lavished on you. We are beginning to have this life revive our faint and weakened souls as his coming has been a most waited for and treasured event.” Defensiveness, Letter Given to Three Brothers by an Unnamed Sister, undated, p.1.
These are not private communications, but are disseminated to the teachers within The Twelve Tribes throughout all their locales.4 These statements are also very similar to those found in other groups like the International Churches of Christ (Boston Church of Christ).
“Kip Mckean is the greatest living treasure that God has given the kingdom on the face of the earth today.” Sam Liang, Discipleship Magazine, 1988 Summer Quarter.
“With eyes wide open I’m following Kip McKean; Consciously; Intentionally; Thankfully.” Steve Johnson, Discipleship Magazine, 3/86/89.
Gene Edwards in his excellent little book, Letters to a Devastated Christian, speaks of evaluating a group by the “ten year test.” The question to ask is, “Just how many ex-elders are there?”
“A man begins a movement. In some solemn ceremony, he ordains a group of elders and announces…these men have been chosen by God and appointed by God to have authority…a few years pass and some of these elders defy - or at least disagree with - the founder…The leader gets upset and announces that those who’ve opposed him are…of the devil. He throws them out - or in some ugly scene - they leave.” Letters to a Devastated Christian, The SeedSowers, 1984, pp. 23-24.
Of the original Elders/Leaders of the Twelve Tribes in Chattanooga, Tennessee, many have left in disgrace or been “cut off” from the group. This includes: James Howell, Larry and Maryann Davis, Michael Painter, Bill Tiller, Roger and JoEllen Griffin, Bill Hinchliff, Cliff Daniels, Ron and Jan Schneider, Mike and Debbie Paris. After the Community moved to Island Pond other very prominent members left: Bob and Susan Benoit, Dante and Janet Gargenese, Valerie Henderson, etc.
Edwards goes on to state that it does not matter how many people come and go over the years. The issue is the manner of their leaving. Were they thrown out? Was it an ugly scene when they left? “Or did they encounter true Christian grace, understanding and love as they struggled through the question of whether or not to leave?” He then goes on to ask, “Of the many people who left, how many of them feel really comfortable in coming back to the group for a visit?”5 Out of the scores of ex-members we have become personally acquainted with, we have yet to meet one who would feel comfortable going back for a visit.
Only His Teachings Disseminated
“I (Yoneq) heard from Derush in Judah that as he was teaching about mercy from a teaching I taught here a few months ago, which Baherah had typed, up a young 18 year old woman began weeping and cried out for salvation.” The New Age Movement Philosophy, 2/22/93, Brazil.
“Havah - ‘I want to share how thankful I am for the teachings (Spriggs’ interpretations - rp).’” Authority 6, 9/26/90, p.10.
“After this, Yoneq continued to feed the flock.” Ahavah 3, 9/13/89, p.2.
As stated earlier, the Community leadership, less Spriggs, has denied many times that only he can bring teachings. However, in the hundreds and hundreds of teachings of the Tribes that we have read perhaps 3% are by others. Not one of these other teachings bring anything new to the “revelation” that Spriggs has already brought. A challenge to his understanding of Scripture by one of the others in leadership would not be tolerated.6
It is easy to understand why his teachings are the final say in the Tribes. At an interview with the leadership in August of 1994, we were told that “he has the grace to bring light to the Scriptures.” This is meant to the exclusion of others. But this is not to say that others cannot have insight into Scripture. However, everything is measured by the “revelation” that Spriggs has uniquely brought, and this “revelation” cannot be countermanded.
We were also told at this same meeting that Spriggs is able to “extract truth from the Scripture without violating them.” However, as will be demonstrated in this section, Spriggs lacks the critical skills to justify the many doctrinal deviations he makes from the clear teaching of Scripture. This is not to say he is to be faulted because he does not have training in this area. But if an expositor of Scripture wishes to declare, “…Greek scholars cannot read plain Greek in Col 2:17,” he best have very convincing arguments to demonstrate that such is the case.7 At the least he would need to be on a par with them in his own Greek competency!
It was also reported to us in a phone interview with Larry Davis, an original member, that one of the factors that disillusioned him greatly was when he taught at their community in France a “teaching” that didn’t originate from Spriggs. When Spriggs heard about it he “was angry because this teaching didn’t come from the head.”8
Holy Spirit Required to Understand Teachings.
“The Holy Spirit dwells in our heart by faith…only if the Spirit dwells in your HEART can you understand the teachings.” Ahavah, First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/23/89, p.9.
Many ex-members told us they were frequently confused by Spriggs’ teachings. They just did not seem to make sense or were not consistent with previous teachings given by him.
No One Can Speak Against God’s Anointed.
”Acts 3:19-23…In verse 22 when someone comes from Him there cannot be obstinance in anyone or the obstinant (sic) one will be cut off from the Holy Nation (Twelve Tribes -rp). So you can see, shortly people will be cut off if we are not in unity about the anointing.” Receiving the Anointing, 8/2/88, p.1.
Spriggs is referring to himself in this teaching. It is clear that to be obstinate regarding the one who “comes from Him” is to risk excommunication from the Kingdom of God. This is very similar to statements that are frequently made by those in other highly controlling movements. The following are examples of such threats.
“Several people I know have criticized. Some of them are dead right today in an early grave because of it and more than one of them got cancer.” Kenneth Copeland
“I love Copeland. He’s my friend, and anyone who is attacking him is attacking the very presence of God.” Benny Hinn
It was reported by every single ex-member with whom we spoke that one prominent female member of the Tribes had contracted uterine cancer and died. Apparently, about
ten years earlier she had made a negative comment about Spriggs.9
Spriggs Views Himself As An Apostle And Elijah
“I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its praticality.” Apostolic Role, 1976 or 1977, p.1.
“The test of an apostle is that he works to raise up others to be greater than himself.” Sent Ones, undated, p.1
“This is why Elijah (in the context Spriggs is clearly referring to himself) must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the Church to the Israel of YHWH. Matt. 17:11 The Roman, Greek, and Protestant are completely off the foundation of Messiah.” Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today, undated, p.2.
These kind of claims have been repeated many times down through history. They are also similar to the statements of individuals like Kip McKean who “follows in the pattern of Paul,” and Carl Stevens of the Greater Grace World Outreach who is “God’s prophet for the east coast.”
Receives Special Revelation
“Yoneq expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course.” Letter From Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb, Sus France, 9/89, p.2.
“This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday.” Observing the Sabbath, 4/30/94, p.1.
There is no problem with God speaking to an individual. This is abundantly demonstrated in the Scriptures and down through history. There is a problem with God supposedly speaking to someone who leads a group that is almost entirely dependent upon him, and who teaches heresy. Please see Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:20-22 and then turn to the section on theology.10
Thus, when the Tribes state, “We are not followers of any man…,” that is not entirely accurate.11 While members are very sincere and not attempting to mislead in this regard the reality is that Spriggs is God’s prophet for these end times, and is the only one preparing the “Bride” so the heavenly “Bridegroom” will be able to return.12
It also appears that a two tiered system exists within the Tribes. Upon joining, the convert must divest himself of everything he owns. People literally own only the clothes upon their back and a few personal items. Everything else is held in common. Also, there are no televisions, books, magazines, newspapers, etc., and members are discouraged from using a Bible that has study notes or any other such helps.13 However, Spriggs when he travels takes many suitcases with nothing but books. He is described as being a “voracious reader,” and from his teachings it is evident that he uses commentaries and reads other books dealing with the Bible, books not readily available to the average member.
As The Apostle, Spriggs Wields Vast Authority
This is evident in the stories told us by ex-members and by written communications that are disseminated throughout the Tribes.
“It grieves me that I was not connected or attached to Yoneq…Dullness prompted me to call you, when Yoneq should have been the one I sought wisdom from…All this stuff about Ayal’s baptism came about without Yoneq’s approval or knowledge of what was happening!
“Yoneq wants him to come to full repentance and be sorry for all he has done. I was working against this!
“Ayal will be restored by a ruling government who are attached and connected to Yoneq.
“I am a brother who was independent in my thinking and deeds. For weeks my heart has been grieved at my lack of loyalty to Yoneq.” Letter Sent to Deshe, 2/8/94, p.1.14
This is an amazing admission to the authority and power that Spriggs exercises over the leadership in the Tribes. Continuosly (six times) the author berates and castigates himself for “independent thinking” and not being “attached to Yoneq,” not “seeking wisdom from Yoneq,” acting “without Yoneq’s approval,” “lack of loyalty to Yoneq,” etc.
An ex-member also related to us an incident that occurred in Island Pond, Vermont. Apparently, the Elders in Island Pond decided to send a family that was living in their Community to another Community in Nova Scotia. This had been discussed between the Elders in both Tribes and agreed upon. Yoneq found out about it and rebuked the Elders in Island Pond. They had sent someone to “another tribe” and that was wrong even though both tribes agreed.
Use Of Scripture — Misleading Methods
The Twelve Tribes believes the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. In that position it stands with historic Christianity. However, that being said, the method of interpretation utilized by Spriggs is fundamentally flawed. He seems to work backwards from his theological position to the Bible in order to prove a point of doctrine. He believes that agreement with the historic Creeds “is not proof of sound doctrine,” and that “the acid test for detecting orthodoxy is: Is it producing love?”15 Certainly precise agreement with the historic Creeds is not the ultimate standard whereby doctrinal purity is measured. The Creeds were not inspired, only God’s word is. However, one would be hard pressed to find a better or more concise statement of what the Bible teaches. What is extremely problematic is the standard of “love“ being elevated to the place where it determines doctrinal soundness. Biblical love is the hall mark of a truly vibrant Christian witness, however, love is always the handmaiden of sound doctrine and not the other way around.
Therefore, proper principles of Biblical interpretation are critical in this subjective age in which we live.16 From the time of Paul the Church has been exhorted to “rightly divide the Word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). The implication is that there is a wrong way to divide the Word of truth.17 Those involved in Biblical interpretation, or the interpretation of any other ancient document, generally employ three approaches to understand the author’s intent. These are the grammatical, the historical, and the theological approach.18 These approaches are absent from the Tribes’ (Spriggs) interpretation of Scripture, partly because no one understands the Biblical languages, and partly because the historical context is neglected or distorted. It appears that his scholarship is built upon the desire to find Biblical permission for what he has already planned to do. As has been aptly stated, “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.” Because Spriggs so desperately seeks justification for his heterodox teachings he is forced to filter out all Biblical evidence to the contrary. The result is Biblical confusion and gross perversion of God’s word. In the height of irony Spriggs underscores the importance of “rightly dividing” the Scriptures when he writes,
“Rev. 22:18 - ‘if (sic) any adds to the word of the prophecy of this book, God shall add to him the plagues of this book, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and the Holy City which are written in this book.’ That is a solemn warning for everyone - for me too, if I deceive or am in such a state that I am being deceived.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/15/90, Members of Messiah, p.15.
Spriggs’ errors of Biblical interpretation generally fall into four categories.
1. Misunderstands Cultural/Historical Context
“When the sun goes down, the Sabbath ends and the first day begins. It is obvious that Christianity has the wrong person (who died on Friday and rose on Sunday). But the real Savior spent three days and three nights in death (not one and a half).” Evening Sacrifice, 112/12/92, Brazil, Out of His Side, p.3.
The Jews like many cultures, ours included, often used a figure of speech called synecdoche, where a part is spoken of as the whole. Jesus was in the grave part of Friday, all day Saturday, and then rose on Sunday morning. Thus, to Jewish reckoning He was in the grave three days.
“2 Peter 3:14 - Be diligent to be found by Him to be without spot or blemish, having PEACE (SHALOM - they didn’t speak Greek back then, they hated it).” Sabbat Morning, Boston, A Seed Preserved/Serene Confidence/Peacemakers, p.2.
Peter was a fisherman on the sea of Galilee. Galilee was a Gentile stronghold in Jesus day. It is unimaginable to think that Peter did not speak Greek in addition to his native tongue, Aramaic.19 Greek was the lingua franca of the times, and many, many people were bilingual in that culture.
2. Misunderstands Greek
“Matthew 5:17-19 The Law won’t pass away till the world’s (sic) pass away so they can become eternal and inhabitable. If the Sabbaths, new moons, and festivals are shadows of things to come, (In the Greek of Col. 2:17 it is ‘are a shadow’) where does the light come from? It is obvious anyone who had a hand in mistranslating this verse is going to the second death.” For This Cause, Part II, 6/19/90, p.15.
“Weymouth and the rest of the Greek scholars cannot read plain Greek in Col 2:17. They fabricate the word ‘were’ in place of the ‘word’ are.” Redemption, undated, p.13.
The arrogance of this second quote is amazing. Weymouth was a classical scholar of the last century and understood Greek fluently. Greek scholars understand that when Paul writes “is a shadow” this is a doctrinal statement. Such doctrinal statements are often timeless and appear in the present tense, which simply states a fact without any concern for time.20
3. Changes Words
“There is only one true Messiah and He is raising up the tribes of Israel. ‘I will build My community and the gates of hell will not prevail over my community - who stays in communion with one another and with Me.’” Evening Sacrifice, 12/12/92, Out of His Side, p.3.
Unless Spriggs is speaking prophetically this is a partial quote of Matthew 16:18. Matthew writes ekklesia, which is literally “called out ones,” almost exclusively translated as church. The word community is inappropriate and misleading in this context, although that term fits the theology of The Twelve Tribes. This will be explored later in the theology part of the paper.
4. Fanciful Interpretations
“The steward in Luke 16:9 cut the bills of his Master’s debtors in half in order to have somewhere to live. He acted shrewdly. Our Master said, ‘therefore’ (in relationship to the context) make friends for yourself with all the money you have made in the world so that when it fails you may have an eternal dwelling. If you give it away to your parents or your ungodly friends, you are making homes for yourself with them. Submit it to the apostles feet who would do, with mercy and compassion, the righteous thing with that money.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 7/9/89, Matt “Be on the Alert,” p.5.
This is a very interesting interpretation of this passage, and is pure eisegesis by Spriggs. It is unhinged from what Jesus was speaking to His disciples. The simplest explanation of such a parable is that Jesus was employing it to describe a worldly astuteness, and to teach a lesson on spiritual prudence. As in many parables, the details are often the “furniture” of the story and are of no intrinsic importance. All Jesus did here was use the wicked steward’s foresight and promptitude, evil as they were, to illustrate qualities that have an important place in the life of a true disciple. It is absurd to squeeze from this that a true disciple is to give all his worldly possessions to the apostles and not one’s parents or “ungodly friends.”
Another very fanciful interpretation is Spriggs explanation of the fall of Adam and Eve. This is without any Scriptural support but does buttress the theology of the Twelve Tribes.
.
“Woman can appreciate man for not leaving her alone to die but eating the fruit and choosing to die with her…Adam chose to eat the fruit knowing that he could not nullify Eve’s act…seeing that he, her covering, had explained in detail to her all that God had told him, Gen. 2:15-17…If he had been negligent to tell her, the blood would have been on his hands. But he was a good covering…Adam could not nullify Eve’s act because she vowed with him to be obedient. Adam had only one recourse. He loved his wife, they were one flesh. He was so thankful to our Father for her. He loved her….He entered into death with her to lead her until Yahshua could bring restoration. Adam wasn’t accusing Eve in Gen 3:13 (sic, v.12).” Headcover, undated, p.9.
Inaccurate Historical Statements
Spriggs also makes many inaccurate historical statements to support his position. Classic among these are his statements about how Sunday replaced the Sabbath (Saturday) as the day of worship in the early Church.
“The Sabbath has not passed away. The Catholic Church and all her daughters have changed the Sabbath to Sunday in 336 A.D. at the council of Laodicea.” More on First and Second Death, 11/19/95, p.11.
“In 334 A.D. the council at Laodicea removed the sign (speaking of the Sabbath - rp).” Redemption, undated, p.15.
“We see so many things that Constantine put in. 100 years after Revelations (sic) declared the Laodiceans lukewarm a council there declared there would be no more 7th Day Sabbath…If you don’t keep the Sabbath you die, whether anyone knows it or not.” Who We Are, 10/3/89, p.8.
First, there is a discrepancy with the dates given for the Council at Laodicea, and it is more properly called a Synod. Also, there were seven great ecumenical councils in the early Church.21 Laodicea was not one of them. There most likely was a regional council at Laodicea but historians are unclear about this. The one that is at times alluded to probably occurred around 363 A.D.. However, leeway can be given for anywhere between 343 A.D. - 381 A.D.. Regardless, it most likely occurred decades after Spriggs date and certainly was not called by Constantine. In fairness, Spriggs is probably confused with some of the edicts of Constantine around the year 325 AD. Sunday was set aside for part of the empire as a day of rest in deference to the Christians, and his new found Christian faith. He did not legislate something that Christians were not already observing. The early Church father’s writings are replete with references to Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
The Bible and Extra-Biblical Writings
Spriggs will also use the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha in the same capacity as Scripture to support his doctrines.
“Extra Biblical writings can be useful to those who have a safe spirit (e.g. gospel of Thomas, Testimonies of the 12 Patriarchs). Paul in his day ‘added’ to the O.T. speaking prophetically, so it is today.” Pray Lifting Up Holy Hands Without Wrath and Dissension, 6/5/88, p.1.
“The Gospel of Thomas which was found in Egypt not too long ago said, ‘He who is nearest to me is nearest to the fire.’ Fire is for purification.
So we see the meaning of baptism here.” Reasoning 2, 10/19/90, p.5.
“In the quote from the book of Maccabees it was THE PRIESTHOOD who became completely defiled by sports. (2Mac. 4:14) Though they may have been late for everything else, “at the stroke of the gong, they would hurry to the games”. The Dangers of Sports, 1/95, p.1.22
What is also very disturbing is how Spriggs’ own teachings are give a place of equal divine authority with the Bible. This is true of the Freepapers as well.
“The teachings (Spriggs’ teachings to the Tribes - rp) kill us. The Bible - the Word of God kills our flesh. It requires our death.” Ahavah 2, The Work of Faith, The Labor of Love and the Perseverance of Hope, Tabitha’s Place, 9/6/89, p.7.
“These Freepapers are eternal life - the Word of God…How much time do you think you can devote to this paper every day with your busy schedule…? 20 seconds? Maybe some people could build up to a minute a day - that’s 60 seconds…See if you can and watch what happens to your life! I’m saying this because some people don’t read it at all, then they claim to have eternal life - Impossible!
“…I’m talking about this because I want you to know how great a sin it is if you don’t read them yourself. Don’t even imagine that you are saved and have eternal life..” Reading Our Freepapers, 7/13/94, pp.1-2.23
It would seem fair to deduce that Elbert Eugene Spriggs, “Yoneq,” has an unequaled place of authority and influence within The Twelve Tribes. His unquestioned and unchallenged interpretation of Scripture, his equating his own writings with the Bible, his position as the “apostle” in the group, allows him to come across with teachings and pronouncements that are no less weighty than the Bible’s, “Thus saith the Lord.” The rest of this paper will develop the tragic impact this has had on the lives of thousands of people. It is a very dangerous practice to delegate to any human being a “direct pipeline to God,” with no real accountability.
1The Tribes complained that part of this quote was missing and that it changed substantially what was being communicated. It is true that the quote is more narrow in its application, for Spriggs was specifically talking about a point in the Book of Revelation. However, the quote overall stands as a prime example of the Tribes’ approach towards the Bible, Spriggs, and the Early Church. It is explicitly taught that for 1,900 years there was no true Church on the face of the earth until The Twelve Tribes began. The Bible is also intended, by God’s design, to be misunderstood by unbelievers unless you are under the “anointing” (The Twelve Tribes). Also, so many of the Tribes’ arguments for their position are “arguments from silence,” which is the point of this quote. “Arguments form silence” are also used to justify other major doctrines: the giving away of all one’s possessions, the story of Adam and Eve’s fall, living in community as a perpetual concept, etc.
2 Groups frequently have what is understood to be “inner” and “outer” doctrine.” Outer doctrine is for public consumption and in The Twelve Tribes this includes their Freepapers, booklets written by them, letters to the press, etc. Their inner doctrine is the teachings of their founder Elbert Eugene Spriggs (Yoneq). These are not necessarily in contradiction with one another, however, the teachings do reveal a picture of the power Spriggs exercises in the Tribes that is never evident in the Freepapers. We were able to get these teachings from numerous ex-members and two members in the group. The group’s leadership would not give us these teachings, although we asked on numerous occasions. Their contention was that they would only be misunderstand by outsiders who are not under the “anointing.” These “teachings” with their titles are extensively quoted throughout this paper, and are available for inspection.
As an aside, our initial response to the Tribes was very favorable. It was not until we were able to secure the bulk of their teachings that we became progressively troubled. They evidence a litany of destructive control on the part of Spriggs that is almost unparalleled in our experience. This control is not administered with an iron fist, but rather with a velvet glove. Thus, it is more insidious and difficult to identify, particularly by those under its sway.
At our final meeting with their top leadership we mentioned to them that as far as public relations were concerned “these ‘teachings’ were their worst nightmare.”
3 In 1978 the Chattanooga Times reports that Eddie Wiseman referred to Gene Spriggs as a “gift from God,” and that “upon him…the church is built.” Chattanooga Times, 1/10/78.
4 The Tribes disputes this assertion in their Critique of this paper, however, we have since come into possession of a 1,000 more of Spriggs’ teachings that are filled with statements that demonstrate this contention. It would be good to hear from the Tribes why they feel it necessary to distribute “teachings” of these kind that glorify Spriggs. It has also been our understanding from conversations with members, family of current members, ex-members, and others that Spriggs carries an unrivaled, exalted position with the Twelve Tribes.
5 Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards, The SeedSowers, 1984, p.25.
6 The Tribes wrote in their Critique of this section of the Analysis: “What is the Scriptural authority for this business of challenging one another? Is it supposed to be tolerated? Is disagreement among leaders regarding their interpretation of the Word some sort of proof of orthodoxy? The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another’ (Gal 5:26). He also wrote that ‘the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets’ (I Cor 14:32). It is a matter of attitude and motive. We do not challenge one another, but we do submit to one another out of reverence for Messiah (Eph 5:21).” Obviously, the Tribes takes issue with the word challenge. Thus, Spriggs, cannot be “challenged” regarding his interpretation of Scripture. However, he can and should be “submitted” to.
7 Redemption, undated, p.13.
8 This conversation occurred on March 27, 1995 and we found Mr. Davis to be a very humble Christian with no animosity towards the Tribes, and great insight into them. Mr Davis left in 1983 and has since been vilified by Spriggs in later teachings, “Larry Davis left of his own accord because he didn’t get the recognition he wanted…So he received a spirit that said ,’you (sic) need to be exalted in the Body.’ He was lifted up in pride - Satan’s sin.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/15/90, p.17. In a very insightful statement, Davis told Spriggs at the time of his confrontation, “We are growing hydroponic Christians here. They can only survive in the artificial environment of the Community, not outside in the world.”
In the Tribes’ Critique of this section of the Analysis they supplied a letter written by Davis, shortly before his departure, to another member of the Tribes. In that letter, Davis bemoans his lack of spirituality and that the Holy Spirit had never regenerated him in the Church. These kind of letters are common when a person, torn about their allegiance to a group, are on the verge of leaving. They reflect more the inner turmoil of the person’s emotional state, and are as much an attempt to convince their own self as they are a confession of their true inner condition. Once the person has left the group, and is no longer under the intense pressure and scrutiny to conform, such letters are rarely written, and often regretted if were.
9 This sad event happened to Mary Wiseman, the first wife of Eddie Wiseman (“Hakam”), an apostolic worker and chief lieutenant of Spriggs. Eddie is an extremely sensitive and caring man. This whole event must have been devastating to him. Mary, in every instance, was spoken of with great love and respect and greatly influenced many members for good over the years. She and her husband tried many homeopathic therapies to treat her cancer, even laetrile brought back from Texas, but all with little to no effect. Shortly before she died a long prayer meeting was held that began above their Common Sense Restaurant and ended at Mary’s house, the Maples. This prayer meeting was intense with a great amount of singing and pleading before God on Mary’s behalf. “Huldah the Prophetess” even prophesied that “God had healed Mary.” Three or four days later she died. This created huge problems in the Tribes because Mary had been pronounced healed and was such a high ranking, beloved member. Why would God allow her to die? It was stated at an elders meeting that the “Gospel was on trial.” Either there was something wrong in Mary’s life that brought her to this premature end, despite the prayers of the believers, or, the Tribes were wrong. A short while later, after Mary’s funeral, one of the largest meetings ever held in the Tribes occurred and lasted into the early hours of the morning. Hundreds of people attended, many from their other communities. It was then revealed by a Tribes member that she remembered standing in a kitchen, talking with Mary, years earlier. Some remarks were made about what a great person Spriggs was to which Mary commented, “You don’t know Yoneq. He can really have anger.” Her husband, Eddie, also confessed that years earlier, when they had first moved to Island Pond, Vermont, Mary had tried to leave with their two boys, Luke and Nathan. He prevented her from going and confessed that his actions were a mistake. He should have let her leave because she demonstrated, by trying to leave, that she was no longer his wife. It was then stated that Mary had died for three reasons: she had a “spirit of her children” ( she was more committed to her children than she was to the Tribes), she had twice tried to leave (and thus demonstrated that her commitment to Yashua and the “anointing” was weak), and she had “spoken out against the anointed” –Spriggs (this was her most grievous error). Spriggs was at this meeting and said nothing in protest. Indeed, it was explicitly stated that Mary had contracted uterine cancer because she had a “spirit of her children.” He condoned this line of reasoning by what he taught at the time, and how he directed the meeting. Mary had become the sacrificial lamb. But equally devastating was that Mary’s children were there and heard these things spoken about their mother. The magnitude of this whole sad event demonstrates the extremes to which Spriggs has allowed the importance of his own person and position to be taken. Even the second-in-command’s wife’s godly character can be destroyed.
Mr. Wiseman, in their Critique of this Analysis, was understandably very disturbed that we included this account of his deceased wife’s last days. He claims that this was “offensive, vicious” and “…that academic researchers warn and caution…of the unreliability of ex-members’ accounts.” Since receiving their Critique we have come into possession of the Apostolic Workers notes and Body Meeting notes from around the time of Mary’s death. They reveal far more clearly the tragedy of that time and the systematic decimation of Mary’s character. She had spoken against the “anointed” more than a decade earlier, and had tried to leave twice. And even though she could not remember the complaint against Spriggs’ abuse of authority, God did. Her disease was the consequence of not initiating a proper repentance when she had the opportunity. This account of Mary’s death was also revealed to use by many ex-members and one current member.
10 The Tribes in their Critique responded thusly to this section of the Analysis. “Since Mr. Pardon is so keen on understanding the historical context of Scriptures, let him answer this question: who would the hearer of Moses’ words think was leading the people astray after other gods, one who told them to observe the Sabbath or to observe the day of ‘the invincible Sun,’ the Dies Solis of the Roman empire which honored the solar deity?” As is usual, in much of their Critique they do not deal with the real issue, which is Spriggs receiving special revelation. The implication is that he does receive it and propounds it in his teachings.
11 What We Believe, undated, p.4.
12 Again the Tribes in their Critique attempts to downplay the authority of Spriggs by asserting that it is the whole Body that prepares itself for Messiah to return. However, it is only Spriggs that has called the “true” Body into existence after 1,900 years, only Spriggs teachings that are disseminated, and only Spriggs who functions in the role of Elijah. Our point stands as is.
13 I was personally told by David Jones (Yonah) that Bibles with study notes kept a person from hearing from the Holy Spirit as they read the Scriptures. This was because they were hearing the opinions of another man. However, it does not seem to dawn on members of the Tribes that in listening to only the opinions of Spriggs they are in effect in the same bind as the person with his Bible with study notes. Their defense would be that Spriggs has the ability /anointing to understand the true word of God.
14 This quote is amazingly similar to statements found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, only there the locus of God’s anointing is not a single person but the Governing Body, a small group of men. “Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our mind what to believe.’ This is independent thinking! Why is this so dangerous? Such thinking is evidence of pride. And the Bible says: ‘Pride is before a crash…’ If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: ‘Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the truth if it had not been for the guidance from the organization? Could we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No, we cannot.” Watchtower, 1/15/83, p.27.
15 Apostolic Role, 1976 or 1977, p.2.
16 In a Chattanooga Times article, 1/19/78, written by Alan Murray, he asks the question of the Vine Church (Twelve Tribes) how they can be sure their interpretation of Scripture is the correct one. Eddie Wiseman responds, “By the fruit of our efforts. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love our brethren. The life is what gives us credibility, not just the doctrine.” This is very reminiscent of our meetings with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon’s and Baha’is who have all stated to us that the “proof” of their interpretation of Scripture is in their “fruit.” “See how we love one another! See how we have grown! Look at our lifestyle!” are the things that we continuously hear. They ask, “Isn’t it obvious that God is with us and blessing us?” Each of these groups believes that there particular _expression has given them a real corner on the truth of Scripture, and all the other groups are wrong.
17 Leaders of heretical groups often have an exalted sense of their own unique ability to understand Scripture, and recapture what has been “lost” from Scripture, in a way that nobody has ever been able to. “Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness…because the plain and most precious parts of the Gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by the abominable Church…” Book of Mormon, I Nephi 13:32 . “The desire to compel all men to think alike on all subjects, culminated in the great apostasy…the one faith that Paul and the other apostles set forth, was lost - buried under the mass of uninspired decrees of popes and councils” Charles Taze Russell, Watchtower. “Christianity has mistranslated the scriptures. A spirit caused them to purposely distort the bibles according to their beliefs. Every study bible, every translation of the bible has a different diversification behind it…” E. Spriggs, Ahavah, First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/23/89, p.8.
18 The grammatical approach looks at the meaning of words in their original language, and their etymology. It also takes into consideration their usage at the time the document was written. Then the words need to be considered in their connection with one another. This will deal with such things as their metaphorical and figurative meaning.
The historical approach assumes that the Word of God originated in an historical context, and can best be understood in light of that history. This involves considering the personal, social and religious characteristics of the author, the circumstances peculiar to his time, and the original recipients of the letter.
The theological approach (this pertains only to Biblical interpretation) takes into consideration that the Bible is the Word of God; that it stands as an organic whole and is to be understood within that context; that the Old and New Testament are best understood as type and anti-type; and that not only the clear statements of Scripture comprise its message, but also those that may be deduced from it by employing these methods. See L. Berkhof’s, Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Baker Book House, 1950.
19 The Way International also tries to prove that the Gospels were written in Aramaic as a justification for many of their doctrines. Spriggs attempts to do the same kind of thing in stating that the Messiah would never have been called Jesus, because that is a Greek name, or that none of the disciples would ever speak Greek. However, we possess the New Testament only in Greek in its earliest manuscripts. No Aramaic originals are extant. All the earliest New Testament manuscripts that have been recovered (and they number in the 1,000’s) are in Greek, not Aramaic.
20 Rev. 13:8 is an even clearer example of this disregard for time. Jesus is the Lamb that is “slain before the creation of the world.” John 1:29 is a similar example of this kind of statement. Jesus “takes away the sin of the world.” “Takes” is a present active participle. Yet in space and time this event had not yet occurred. Paul has many examples of this in his writings.
21 Only the great ecumenical councils carried the authority to influence the whole Church. These councils were: Nicea, 325 AD; Constantinople, 381 AD; Ephesus, 431 AD; Chalcedon, 451 AD; Constantinople, 553 AD; Constantinople, 680-681 AD; Nicea, 787 AD.
22 As an aside, this comes from a very interesting teaching that equates the playing of “sports” with setting up a “high place” in one’s heart. This “high place” is an idol that now takes the place of God. “False Prophets encourage them (people in The Twelve Tribes - rp) to play sports. False leaders lead the saints into sin by playing.”
23 The Tribes refers to this assertion in our Analysis as being “sensationalistic” and without any merit on such “scanty evidence.” They then assert five things in their defense. First, the initial quote deals with the Biblical demand to die to selfishness (which does not deal with the obvious parallel between Spriggs’ teachings and the Bible). Their second and fourth objections emphasize that there are abundant Biblical citations in both articles quoted in the Analysis. Building on this, their third objection makes it very clear that anyone reading the two articles would not be “confused as to which was which” (which was Scripture and which was Freepaper). Their fifth objection demonstrates our point, “…we have no qualms about saying that our literature would be words of eternal life to a lost person, and that for one of us to give out a Freepaper without reading it would not only be hypocritical, but would also exhibit a sinful indifference to God’s Word.” However, this is not what Spriggs states. He says the Freepapers are “the Word of God,” not that they contain the message of eternal life for a “lost person.” Also, this teaching was not given to “lost persons.” It was given to “believers” in the Tribes who were told that if they did not read the Freepapers to “..not even imagine that you are saved and have eternal life.” This is all too reminiscent of a quote by Charles Taze Russell of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, “Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years–if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light in two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.”
Our point is simply that Spriggs teachings, reflected in the Freepapers, is elevated to Biblical status.

neo
03-26-2006, 12:03
This article addresses the fact that “Yoneq” is not a linguist and his ability to interpret the Bible is the same as a plumber’s ability to set up nuclear fusion. He just has NO expertise in the original languages what-so-ever (other than the elusive “anointing”). Then he has the audacity to send people to the Lake of Fire for questioning his interpretations and credentials. A true Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
“The things I want to speak to you about are things that have been misunderstood for at least 1900 years. That is because the Bible is written in a way that assumes you already know what it is talking about…But for 1900 years it has been misunderstood. The Apostles back then would travel from village to village, from house to house and teach these things verbally. and (sic) then they would write a letter and confirm some things they had already spoken about — they did not explain it all again in the letters because it was understood. But this understanding has been lost. People in Christianity do not have it. Peter said that in his letters some things are hard to understand by the untaught — they have been taught by the wrong people.” Elbert Spriggs, More On The First And Second Death, 11/19/89, p.21
It must be stated in the very beginning of this section that we have never personally met with or spoken to “Yoneq,” Elbert Eugene Spriggs, Jr. This is not the result of lack of desire or effort on our part, and has been very disappointing to us. We have made repeated requests to meet with him. After all, he is the “apostle” of the group, and it is his own teachings that indicate what the group truly teaches and believes. This is also the first of any comprehensive analysis of The Twelve Tribes. It would seem that the “apostle” would find it important enough to meet with “these outsiders” to correct any misperceptions on their part. In a letter sent to Nicki Cruz by Eddie Wiseman (second in authority under Spriggs), dated 2/8/95, Mr. Wiseman writes:
“In fact we tried on several occasions to get with you after my wife and I initially contacted you in Kansas City. We wanted to discuss who we are and what we believe with you but you didn’t seem to have time to meet with us. Elbert Spriggs and Jose Rodrigez came to one of your crusade meetings in south Florida to see you, but your schedule was too busy.”
It is our feeling, also, that Mr. Spriggs has missed a golden opportunity to “set the record straight.”
One question to ask in evaluating any group that claims to have the truth is, “Where does your authority come from?” This question may arise in regards to their rituals, practices, or beliefs that deviate from an historical, orthodox understanding of Scripture. To truly understand The Twelve Tribes “Yoneq,” Elbert Eugene Spriggs, founder and “apostle,” has to be understood in terms of the position, stature and authority he holds within the group. We were continuously told that he was only “one amongst many leaders” in the Tribes, however ex-members and hundreds of his own teachings (that are disseminated worldwide to all the Tribes) give a far different picture. These teachings are their “inner doctrine,” and are not for public consumption.2 No one else in the Tribes is able to give original teachings, the teachings of others are merely a rehash of what Spriggs has already taught. This is because it is believed that he is an “apostle” and has the authority similar to that of Paul. This divine authority is demonstrated by the fact that he has brought the Twelve Tribes into existence.3 There are other “apostolic workers” in the group but they clearly do not carry the same weight/authority that Spriggs does. The following quotes clearly reveal his position and authority. These are just a very few of the many that could be quoted. Taken in the total context of his teachings they create a very clear picture.
Sole Leadership
“Ha-Emeq (Marsha Spriggs - rp): When Yoneq (Spriggs) was talking it reminded me of my first love, my first faith. I remembered how I came out of the world. There was no community like now. Just follow Yoneq.” Breaking of Bread, Sus, 2/24/90, p.5.
“The day when I heard that you would come in a few weeks, I was crying out so much. I didn’t know how to continue - I was really finished. But when we heard you were coming, that gave me strength to go on. I can’t wait until you arrive - I long for you so much…I appreciate you so much.” Letter to Yoneq and Ha-Emeq from Shua, (a member of The Twelve Tribes) 6/94.
“My three dear brothers and friends. I am writing this to you by way of commission by our apostle…I know that all of you there are filled with the life that Yoneq has lavished on you. We are beginning to have this life revive our faint and weakened souls as his coming has been a most waited for and treasured event.” Defensiveness, Letter Given to Three Brothers by an Unnamed Sister, undated, p.1.
These are not private communications, but are disseminated to the teachers within The Twelve Tribes throughout all their locales.4 These statements are also very similar to those found in other groups like the International Churches of Christ (Boston Church of Christ).
“Kip Mckean is the greatest living treasure that God has given the kingdom on the face of the earth today.” Sam Liang, Discipleship Magazine, 1988 Summer Quarter.
“With eyes wide open I’m following Kip McKean; Consciously; Intentionally; Thankfully.” Steve Johnson, Discipleship Magazine, 3/86/89.
Gene Edwards in his excellent little book, Letters to a Devastated Christian, speaks of evaluating a group by the “ten year test.” The question to ask is, “Just how many ex-elders are there?”
“A man begins a movement. In some solemn ceremony, he ordains a group of elders and announces…these men have been chosen by God and appointed by God to have authority…a few years pass and some of these elders defy - or at least disagree with - the founder…The leader gets upset and announces that those who’ve opposed him are…of the devil. He throws them out - or in some ugly scene - they leave.” Letters to a Devastated Christian, The SeedSowers, 1984, pp. 23-24.
Of the original Elders/Leaders of the Twelve Tribes in Chattanooga, Tennessee, many have left in disgrace or been “cut off” from the group. This includes: James Howell, Larry and Maryann Davis, Michael Painter, Bill Tiller, Roger and JoEllen Griffin, Bill Hinchliff, Cliff Daniels, Ron and Jan Schneider, Mike and Debbie Paris. After the Community moved to Island Pond other very prominent members left: Bob and Susan Benoit, Dante and Janet Gargenese, Valerie Henderson, etc.
Edwards goes on to state that it does not matter how many people come and go over the years. The issue is the manner of their leaving. Were they thrown out? Was it an ugly scene when they left? “Or did they encounter true Christian grace, understanding and love as they struggled through the question of whether or not to leave?” He then goes on to ask, “Of the many people who left, how many of them feel really comfortable in coming back to the group for a visit?”5 Out of the scores of ex-members we have become personally acquainted with, we have yet to meet one who would feel comfortable going back for a visit.
Only His Teachings Disseminated
“I (Yoneq) heard from Derush in Judah that as he was teaching about mercy from a teaching I taught here a few months ago, which Baherah had typed, up a young 18 year old woman began weeping and cried out for salvation.” The New Age Movement Philosophy, 2/22/93, Brazil.
“Havah - ‘I want to share how thankful I am for the teachings (Spriggs’ interpretations - rp).’” Authority 6, 9/26/90, p.10.
“After this, Yoneq continued to feed the flock.” Ahavah 3, 9/13/89, p.2.
As stated earlier, the Community leadership, less Spriggs, has denied many times that only he can bring teachings. However, in the hundreds and hundreds of teachings of the Tribes that we have read perhaps 3% are by others. Not one of these other teachings bring anything new to the “revelation” that Spriggs has already brought. A challenge to his understanding of Scripture by one of the others in leadership would not be tolerated.6
It is easy to understand why his teachings are the final say in the Tribes. At an interview with the leadership in August of 1994, we were told that “he has the grace to bring light to the Scriptures.” This is meant to the exclusion of others. But this is not to say that others cannot have insight into Scripture. However, everything is measured by the “revelation” that Spriggs has uniquely brought, and this “revelation” cannot be countermanded.
We were also told at this same meeting that Spriggs is able to “extract truth from the Scripture without violating them.” However, as will be demonstrated in this section, Spriggs lacks the critical skills to justify the many doctrinal deviations he makes from the clear teaching of Scripture. This is not to say he is to be faulted because he does not have training in this area. But if an expositor of Scripture wishes to declare, “…Greek scholars cannot read plain Greek in Col 2:17,” he best have very convincing arguments to demonstrate that such is the case.7 At the least he would need to be on a par with them in his own Greek competency!
It was also reported to us in a phone interview with Larry Davis, an original member, that one of the factors that disillusioned him greatly was when he taught at their community in France a “teaching” that didn’t originate from Spriggs. When Spriggs heard about it he “was angry because this teaching didn’t come from the head.”8
Holy Spirit Required to Understand Teachings.
“The Holy Spirit dwells in our heart by faith…only if the Spirit dwells in your HEART can you understand the teachings.” Ahavah, First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/23/89, p.9.
Many ex-members told us they were frequently confused by Spriggs’ teachings. They just did not seem to make sense or were not consistent with previous teachings given by him.
No One Can Speak Against God’s Anointed.
”Acts 3:19-23…In verse 22 when someone comes from Him there cannot be obstinance in anyone or the obstinant (sic) one will be cut off from the Holy Nation (Twelve Tribes -rp). So you can see, shortly people will be cut off if we are not in unity about the anointing.” Receiving the Anointing, 8/2/88, p.1.
Spriggs is referring to himself in this teaching. It is clear that to be obstinate regarding the one who “comes from Him” is to risk excommunication from the Kingdom of God. This is very similar to statements that are frequently made by those in other highly controlling movements. The following are examples of such threats.
“Several people I know have criticized. Some of them are dead right today in an early grave because of it and more than one of them got cancer.” Kenneth Copeland
“I love Copeland. He’s my friend, and anyone who is attacking him is attacking the very presence of God.” Benny Hinn
It was reported by every single ex-member with whom we spoke that one prominent female member of the Tribes had contracted uterine cancer and died. Apparently, about
ten years earlier she had made a negative comment about Spriggs.9
Spriggs Views Himself As An Apostle And Elijah
“I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its praticality.” Apostolic Role, 1976 or 1977, p.1.
“The test of an apostle is that he works to raise up others to be greater than himself.” Sent Ones, undated, p.1
“This is why Elijah (in the context Spriggs is clearly referring to himself) must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the Church to the Israel of YHWH. Matt. 17:11 The Roman, Greek, and Protestant are completely off the foundation of Messiah.” Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today, undated, p.2.
These kind of claims have been repeated many times down through history. They are also similar to the statements of individuals like Kip McKean who “follows in the pattern of Paul,” and Carl Stevens of the Greater Grace World Outreach who is “God’s prophet for the east coast.”
Receives Special Revelation
“Yoneq expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course.” Letter From Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb, Sus France, 9/89, p.2.
“This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday.” Observing the Sabbath, 4/30/94, p.1.
There is no problem with God speaking to an individual. This is abundantly demonstrated in the Scriptures and down through history. There is a problem with God supposedly speaking to someone who leads a group that is almost entirely dependent upon him, and who teaches heresy. Please see Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:20-22 and then turn to the section on theology.10
Thus, when the Tribes state, “We are not followers of any man…,” that is not entirely accurate.11 While members are very sincere and not attempting to mislead in this regard the reality is that Spriggs is God’s prophet for these end times, and is the only one preparing the “Bride” so the heavenly “Bridegroom” will be able to return.12
It also appears that a two tiered system exists within the Tribes. Upon joining, the convert must divest himself of everything he owns. People literally own only the clothes upon their back and a few personal items. Everything else is held in common. Also, there are no televisions, books, magazines, newspapers, etc., and members are discouraged from using a Bible that has study notes or any other such helps.13 However, Spriggs when he travels takes many suitcases with nothing but books. He is described as being a “voracious reader,” and from his teachings it is evident that he uses commentaries and reads other books dealing with the Bible, books not readily available to the average member.
As The Apostle, Spriggs Wields Vast Authority
This is evident in the stories told us by ex-members and by written communications that are disseminated throughout the Tribes.
“It grieves me that I was not connected or attached to Yoneq…Dullness prompted me to call you, when Yoneq should have been the one I sought wisdom from…All this stuff about Ayal’s baptism came about without Yoneq’s approval or knowledge of what was happening!
“Yoneq wants him to come to full repentance and be sorry for all he has done. I was working against this!
“Ayal will be restored by a ruling government who are attached and connected to Yoneq.
“I am a brother who was independent in my thinking and deeds. For weeks my heart has been grieved at my lack of loyalty to Yoneq.” Letter Sent to Deshe, 2/8/94, p.1.14
This is an amazing admission to the authority and power that Spriggs exercises over the leadership in the Tribes. Continuosly (six times) the author berates and castigates himself for “independent thinking” and not being “attached to Yoneq,” not “seeking wisdom from Yoneq,” acting “without Yoneq’s approval,” “lack of loyalty to Yoneq,” etc.
An ex-member also related to us an incident that occurred in Island Pond, Vermont. Apparently, the Elders in Island Pond decided to send a family that was living in their Community to another Community in Nova Scotia. This had been discussed between the Elders in both Tribes and agreed upon. Yoneq found out about it and rebuked the Elders in Island Pond. They had sent someone to “another tribe” and that was wrong even though both tribes agreed.
Use Of Scripture — Misleading Methods
The Twelve Tribes believes the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. In that position it stands with historic Christianity. However, that being said, the method of interpretation utilized by Spriggs is fundamentally flawed. He seems to work backwards from his theological position to the Bible in order to prove a point of doctrine. He believes that agreement with the historic Creeds “is not proof of sound doctrine,” and that “the acid test for detecting orthodoxy is: Is it producing love?”15 Certainly precise agreement with the historic Creeds is not the ultimate standard whereby doctrinal purity is measured. The Creeds were not inspired, only God’s word is. However, one would be hard pressed to find a better or more concise statement of what the Bible teaches. What is extremely problematic is the standard of “love“ being elevated to the place where it determines doctrinal soundness. Biblical love is the hall mark of a truly vibrant Christian witness, however, love is always the handmaiden of sound doctrine and not the other way around.
Therefore, proper principles of Biblical interpretation are critical in this subjective age in which we live.16 From the time of Paul the Church has been exhorted to “rightly divide the Word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). The implication is that there is a wrong way to divide the Word of truth.17 Those involved in Biblical interpretation, or the interpretation of any other ancient document, generally employ three approaches to understand the author’s intent. These are the grammatical, the historical, and the theological approach.18 These approaches are absent from the Tribes’ (Spriggs) interpretation of Scripture, partly because no one understands the Biblical languages, and partly because the historical context is neglected or distorted. It appears that his scholarship is built upon the desire to find Biblical permission for what he has already planned to do. As has been aptly stated, “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.” Because Spriggs so desperately seeks justification for his heterodox teachings he is forced to filter out all Biblical evidence to the contrary. The result is Biblical confusion and gross perversion of God’s word. In the height of irony Spriggs underscores the importance of “rightly dividing” the Scriptures when he writes,
“Rev. 22:18 - ‘if (sic) any adds to the word of the prophecy of this book, God shall add to him the plagues of this book, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and the Holy City which are written in this book.’ That is a solemn warning for everyone - for me too, if I deceive or am in such a state that I am being deceived.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/15/90, Members of Messiah, p.15.
Spriggs’ errors of Biblical interpretation generally fall into four categories.
1. Misunderstands Cultural/Historical Context
“When the sun goes down, the Sabbath ends and the first day begins. It is obvious that Christianity has the wrong person (who died on Friday and rose on Sunday). But the real Savior spent three days and three nights in death (not one and a half).” Evening Sacrifice, 112/12/92, Brazil, Out of His Side, p.3.
The Jews like many cultures, ours included, often used a figure of speech called synecdoche, where a part is spoken of as the whole. Jesus was in the grave part of Friday, all day Saturday, and then rose on Sunday morning. Thus, to Jewish reckoning He was in the grave three days.
“2 Peter 3:14 - Be diligent to be found by Him to be without spot or blemish, having PEACE (SHALOM - they didn’t speak Greek back then, they hated it).” Sabbat Morning, Boston, A Seed Preserved/Serene Confidence/Peacemakers, p.2.
Peter was a fisherman on the sea of Galilee. Galilee was a Gentile stronghold in Jesus day. It is unimaginable to think that Peter did not speak Greek in addition to his native tongue, Aramaic.19 Greek was the lingua franca of the times, and many, many people were bilingual in that culture.
2. Misunderstands Greek
“Matthew 5:17-19 The Law won’t pass away till the world’s (sic) pass away so they can become eternal and inhabitable. If the Sabbaths, new moons, and festivals are shadows of things to come, (In the Greek of Col. 2:17 it is ‘are a shadow’) where does the light come from? It is obvious anyone who had a hand in mistranslating this verse is going to the second death.” For This Cause, Part II, 6/19/90, p.15.
“Weymouth and the rest of the Greek scholars cannot read plain Greek in Col 2:17. They fabricate the word ‘were’ in place of the ‘word’ are.” Redemption, undated, p.13.
The arrogance of this second quote is amazing. Weymouth was a classical scholar of the last century and understood Greek fluently. Greek scholars understand that when Paul writes “is a shadow” this is a doctrinal statement. Such doctrinal statements are often timeless and appear in the present tense, which simply states a fact without any concern for time.20
3. Changes Words
“There is only one true Messiah and He is raising up the tribes of Israel. ‘I will build My community and the gates of hell will not prevail over my community - who stays in communion with one another and with Me.’” Evening Sacrifice, 12/12/92, Out of His Side, p.3.
Unless Spriggs is speaking prophetically this is a partial quote of Matthew 16:18. Matthew writes ekklesia, which is literally “called out ones,” almost exclusively translated as church. The word community is inappropriate and misleading in this context, although that term fits the theology of The Twelve Tribes. This will be explored later in the theology part of the paper.
4. Fanciful Interpretations
“The steward in Luke 16:9 cut the bills of his Master’s debtors in half in order to have somewhere to live. He acted shrewdly. Our Master said, ‘therefore’ (in relationship to the context) make friends for yourself with all the money you have made in the world so that when it fails you may have an eternal dwelling. If you give it away to your parents or your ungodly friends, you are making homes for yourself with them. Submit it to the apostles feet who would do, with mercy and compassion, the righteous thing with that money.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 7/9/89, Matt “Be on the Alert,” p.5.
This is a very interesting interpretation of this passage, and is pure eisegesis by Spriggs. It is unhinged from what Jesus was speaking to His disciples. The simplest explanation of such a parable is that Jesus was employing it to describe a worldly astuteness, and to teach a lesson on spiritual prudence. As in many parables, the details are often the “furniture” of the story and are of no intrinsic importance. All Jesus did here was use the wicked steward’s foresight and promptitude, evil as they were, to illustrate qualities that have an important place in the life of a true disciple. It is absurd to squeeze from this that a true disciple is to give all his worldly possessions to the apostles and not one’s parents or “ungodly friends.”
Another very fanciful interpretation is Spriggs explanation of the fall of Adam and Eve. This is without any Scriptural support but does buttress the theology of the Twelve Tribes.
.
“Woman can appreciate man for not leaving her alone to die but eating the fruit and choosing to die with her…Adam chose to eat the fruit knowing that he could not nullify Eve’s act…seeing that he, her covering, had explained in detail to her all that God had told him, Gen. 2:15-17…If he had been negligent to tell her, the blood would have been on his hands. But he was a good covering…Adam could not nullify Eve’s act because she vowed with him to be obedient. Adam had only one recourse. He loved his wife, they were one flesh. He was so thankful to our Father for her. He loved her….He entered into death with her to lead her until Yahshua could bring restoration. Adam wasn’t accusing Eve in Gen 3:13 (sic, v.12).” Headcover, undated, p.9.
Inaccurate Historical Statements
Spriggs also makes many inaccurate historical statements to support his position. Classic among these are his statements about how Sunday replaced the Sabbath (Saturday) as the day of worship in the early Church.
“The Sabbath has not passed away. The Catholic Church and all her daughters have changed the Sabbath to Sunday in 336 A.D. at the council of Laodicea.” More on First and Second Death, 11/19/95, p.11.
“In 334 A.D. the council at Laodicea removed the sign (speaking of the Sabbath - rp).” Redemption, undated, p.15.
“We see so many things that Constantine put in. 100 years after Revelations (sic) declared the Laodiceans lukewarm a council there declared there would be no more 7th Day Sabbath…If you don’t keep the Sabbath you die, whether anyone knows it or not.” Who We Are, 10/3/89, p.8.
First, there is a discrepancy with the dates given for the Council at Laodicea, and it is more properly called a Synod. Also, there were seven great ecumenical councils in the early Church.21 Laodicea was not one of them. There most likely was a regional council at Laodicea but historians are unclear about this. The one that is at times alluded to probably occurred around 363 A.D.. However, leeway can be given for anywhere between 343 A.D. - 381 A.D.. Regardless, it most likely occurred decades after Spriggs date and certainly was not called by Constantine. In fairness, Spriggs is probably confused with some of the edicts of Constantine around the year 325 AD. Sunday was set aside for part of the empire as a day of rest in deference to the Christians, and his new found Christian faith. He did not legislate something that Christians were not already observing. The early Church father’s writings are replete with references to Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
The Bible and Extra-Biblical Writings
Spriggs will also use the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha in the same capacity as Scripture to support his doctrines.
“Extra Biblical writings can be useful to those who have a safe spirit (e.g. gospel of Thomas, Testimonies of the 12 Patriarchs). Paul in his day ‘added’ to the O.T. speaking prophetically, so it is today.” Pray Lifting Up Holy Hands Without Wrath and Dissension, 6/5/88, p.1.
“The Gospel of Thomas which was found in Egypt not too long ago said, ‘He who is nearest to me is nearest to the fire.’ Fire is for purification.
So we see the meaning of baptism here.” Reasoning 2, 10/19/90, p.5.
“In the quote from the book of Maccabees it was THE PRIESTHOOD who became completely defiled by sports. (2Mac. 4:14) Though they may have been late for everything else, “at the stroke of the gong, they would hurry to the games”. The Dangers of Sports, 1/95, p.1.22
What is also very disturbing is how Spriggs’ own teachings are give a place of equal divine authority with the Bible. This is true of the Freepapers as well.
“The teachings (Spriggs’ teachings to the Tribes - rp) kill us. The Bible - the Word of God kills our flesh. It requires our death.” Ahavah 2, The Work of Faith, The Labor of Love and the Perseverance of Hope, Tabitha’s Place, 9/6/89, p.7.
“These Freepapers are eternal life - the Word of God…How much time do you think you can devote to this paper every day with your busy schedule…? 20 seconds? Maybe some people could build up to a minute a day - that’s 60 seconds…See if you can and watch what happens to your life! I’m saying this because some people don’t read it at all, then they claim to have eternal life - Impossible!
“…I’m talking about this because I want you to know how great a sin it is if you don’t read them yourself. Don’t even imagine that you are saved and have eternal life..” Reading Our Freepapers, 7/13/94, pp.1-2.23
It would seem fair to deduce that Elbert Eugene Spriggs, “Yoneq,” has an unequaled place of authority and influence within The Twelve Tribes. His unquestioned and unchallenged interpretation of Scripture, his equating his own writings with the Bible, his position as the “apostle” in the group, allows him to come across with teachings and pronouncements that are no less weighty than the Bible’s, “Thus saith the Lord.” The rest of this paper will develop the tragic impact this has had on the lives of thousands of people. It is a very dangerous practice to delegate to any human being a “direct pipeline to God,” with no real accountability.
1The Tribes complained that part of this quote was missing and that it changed substantially what was being communicated. It is true that the quote is more narrow in its application, for Spriggs was specifically talking about a point in the Book of Revelation. However, the quote overall stands as a prime example of the Tribes’ approach towards the Bible, Spriggs, and the Early Church. It is explicitly taught that for 1,900 years there was no true Church on the face of the earth until The Twelve Tribes began. The Bible is also intended, by God’s design, to be misunderstood by unbelievers unless you are under the “anointing” (The Twelve Tribes). Also, so many of the Tribes’ arguments for their position are “arguments from silence,” which is the point of this quote. “Arguments form silence” are also used to justify other major doctrines: the giving away of all one’s possessions, the story of Adam and Eve’s fall, living in community as a perpetual concept, etc.
2 Groups frequently have what is understood to be “inner” and “outer” doctrine.” Outer doctrine is for public consumption and in The Twelve Tribes this includes their Freepapers, booklets written by them, letters to the press, etc. Their inner doctrine is the teachings of their founder Elbert Eugene Spriggs (Yoneq). These are not necessarily in contradiction with one another, however, the teachings do reveal a picture of the power Spriggs exercises in the Tribes that is never evident in the Freepapers. We were able to get these teachings from numerous ex-members and two members in the group. The group’s leadership would not give us these teachings, although we asked on numerous occasions. Their contention was that they would only be misunderstand by outsiders who are not under the “anointing.” These “teachings” with their titles are extensively quoted throughout this paper, and are available for inspection.
As an aside, our initial response to the Tribes was very favorable. It was not until we were able to secure the bulk of their teachings that we became progressively troubled. They evidence a litany of destructive control on the part of Spriggs that is almost unparalleled in our experience. This control is not administered with an iron fist, but rather with a velvet glove. Thus, it is more insidious and difficult to identify, particularly by those under its sway.
At our final meeting with their top leadership we mentioned to them that as far as public relations were concerned “these ‘teachings’ were their worst nightmare.”
3 In 1978 the Chattanooga Times reports that Eddie Wiseman referred to Gene Spriggs as a “gift from God,” and that “upon him…the church is built.” Chattanooga Times, 1/10/78.
4 The Tribes disputes this assertion in their Critique of this paper, however, we have since come into possession of a 1,000 more of Spriggs’ teachings that are filled with statements that demonstrate this contention. It would be good to hear from the Tribes why they feel it necessary to distribute “teachings” of these kind that glorify Spriggs. It has also been our understanding from conversations with members, family of current members, ex-members, and others that Spriggs carries an unrivaled, exalted position with the Twelve Tribes.
5 Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards, The SeedSowers, 1984, p.25.
6 The Tribes wrote in their Critique of this section of the Analysis: “What is the Scriptural authority for this business of challenging one another? Is it supposed to be tolerated? Is disagreement among leaders regarding their interpretation of the Word some sort of proof of orthodoxy? The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another’ (Gal 5:26). He also wrote that ‘the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets’ (I Cor 14:32). It is a matter of attitude and motive. We do not challenge one another, but we do submit to one another out of reverence for Messiah (Eph 5:21).” Obviously, the Tribes takes issue with the word challenge. Thus, Spriggs, cannot be “challenged” regarding his interpretation of Scripture. However, he can and should be “submitted” to.
7 Redemption, undated, p.13.
8 This conversation occurred on March 27, 1995 and we found Mr. Davis to be a very humble Christian with no animosity towards the Tribes, and great insight into them. Mr Davis left in 1983 and has since been vilified by Spriggs in later teachings, “Larry Davis left of his own accord because he didn’t get the recognition he wanted…So he received a spirit that said ,’you (sic) need to be exalted in the Body.’ He was lifted up in pride - Satan’s sin.” First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/15/90, p.17. In a very insightful statement, Davis told Spriggs at the time of his confrontation, “We are growing hydroponic Christians here. They can only survive in the artificial environment of the Community, not outside in the world.”
In the Tribes’ Critique of this section of the Analysis they supplied a letter written by Davis, shortly before his departure, to another member of the Tribes. In that letter, Davis bemoans his lack of spirituality and that the Holy Spirit had never regenerated him in the Church. These kind of letters are common when a person, torn about their allegiance to a group, are on the verge of leaving. They reflect more the inner turmoil of the person’s emotional state, and are as much an attempt to convince their own self as they are a confession of their true inner condition. Once the person has left the group, and is no longer under the intense pressure and scrutiny to conform, such letters are rarely written, and often regretted if were.
9 This sad event happened to Mary Wiseman, the first wife of Eddie Wiseman (“Hakam”), an apostolic worker and chief lieutenant of Spriggs. Eddie is an extremely sensitive and caring man. This whole event must have been devastating to him. Mary, in every instance, was spoken of with great love and respect and greatly influenced many members for good over the years. She and her husband tried many homeopathic therapies to treat her cancer, even laetrile brought back from Texas, but all with little to no effect. Shortly before she died a long prayer meeting was held that began above their Common Sense Restaurant and ended at Mary’s house, the Maples. This prayer meeting was intense with a great amount of singing and pleading before God on Mary’s behalf. “Huldah the Prophetess” even prophesied that “God had healed Mary.” Three or four days later she died. This created huge problems in the Tribes because Mary had been pronounced healed and was such a high ranking, beloved member. Why would God allow her to die? It was stated at an elders meeting that the “Gospel was on trial.” Either there was something wrong in Mary’s life that brought her to this premature end, despite the prayers of the believers, or, the Tribes were wrong. A short while later, after Mary’s funeral, one of the largest meetings ever held in the Tribes occurred and lasted into the early hours of the morning. Hundreds of people attended, many from their other communities. It was then revealed by a Tribes member that she remembered standing in a kitchen, talking with Mary, years earlier. Some remarks were made about what a great person Spriggs was to which Mary commented, “You don’t know Yoneq. He can really have anger.” Her husband, Eddie, also confessed that years earlier, when they had first moved to Island Pond, Vermont, Mary had tried to leave with their two boys, Luke and Nathan. He prevented her from going and confessed that his actions were a mistake. He should have let her leave because she demonstrated, by trying to leave, that she was no longer his wife. It was then stated that Mary had died for three reasons: she had a “spirit of her children” ( she was more committed to her children than she was to the Tribes), she had twice tried to leave (and thus demonstrated that her commitment to Yashua and the “anointing” was weak), and she had “spoken out against the anointed” –Spriggs (this was her most grievous error). Spriggs was at this meeting and said nothing in protest. Indeed, it was explicitly stated that Mary had contracted uterine cancer because she had a “spirit of her children.” He condoned this line of reasoning by what he taught at the time, and how he directed the meeting. Mary had become the sacrificial lamb. But equally devastating was that Mary’s children were there and heard these things spoken about their mother. The magnitude of this whole sad event demonstrates the extremes to which Spriggs has allowed the importance of his own person and position to be taken. Even the second-in-command’s wife’s godly character can be destroyed.
Mr. Wiseman, in their Critique of this Analysis, was understandably very disturbed that we included this account of his deceased wife’s last days. He claims that this was “offensive, vicious” and “…that academic researchers warn and caution…of the unreliability of ex-members’ accounts.” Since receiving their Critique we have come into possession of the Apostolic Workers notes and Body Meeting notes from around the time of Mary’s death. They reveal far more clearly the tragedy of that time and the systematic decimation of Mary’s character. She had spoken against the “anointed” more than a decade earlier, and had tried to leave twice. And even though she could not remember the complaint against Spriggs’ abuse of authority, God did. Her disease was the consequence of not initiating a proper repentance when she had the opportunity. This account of Mary’s death was also revealed to use by many ex-members and one current member.
10 The Tribes in their Critique responded thusly to this section of the Analysis. “Since Mr. Pardon is so keen on understanding the historical context of Scriptures, let him answer this question: who would the hearer of Moses’ words think was leading the people astray after other gods, one who told them to observe the Sabbath or to observe the day of ‘the invincible Sun,’ the Dies Solis of the Roman empire which honored the solar deity?” As is usual, in much of their Critique they do not deal with the real issue, which is Spriggs receiving special revelation. The implication is that he does receive it and propounds it in his teachings.
11 What We Believe, undated, p.4.
12 Again the Tribes in their Critique attempts to downplay the authority of Spriggs by asserting that it is the whole Body that prepares itself for Messiah to return. However, it is only Spriggs that has called the “true” Body into existence after 1,900 years, only Spriggs teachings that are disseminated, and only Spriggs who functions in the role of Elijah. Our point stands as is.
13 I was personally told by David Jones (Yonah) that Bibles with study notes kept a person from hearing from the Holy Spirit as they read the Scriptures. This was because they were hearing the opinions of another man. However, it does not seem to dawn on members of the Tribes that in listening to only the opinions of Spriggs they are in effect in the same bind as the person with his Bible with study notes. Their defense would be that Spriggs has the ability /anointing to understand the true word of God.
14 This quote is amazingly similar to statements found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, only there the locus of God’s anointing is not a single person but the Governing Body, a small group of men. “Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our mind what to believe.’ This is independent thinking! Why is this so dangerous? Such thinking is evidence of pride. And the Bible says: ‘Pride is before a crash…’ If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: ‘Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the truth if it had not been for the guidance from the organization? Could we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No, we cannot.” Watchtower, 1/15/83, p.27.
15 Apostolic Role, 1976 or 1977, p.2.
16 In a Chattanooga Times article, 1/19/78, written by Alan Murray, he asks the question of the Vine Church (Twelve Tribes) how they can be sure their interpretation of Scripture is the correct one. Eddie Wiseman responds, “By the fruit of our efforts. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love our brethren. The life is what gives us credibility, not just the doctrine.” This is very reminiscent of our meetings with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon’s and Baha’is who have all stated to us that the “proof” of their interpretation of Scripture is in their “fruit.” “See how we love one another! See how we have grown! Look at our lifestyle!” are the things that we continuously hear. They ask, “Isn’t it obvious that God is with us and blessing us?” Each of these groups believes that there particular _expression has given them a real corner on the truth of Scripture, and all the other groups are wrong.
17 Leaders of heretical groups often have an exalted sense of their own unique ability to understand Scripture, and recapture what has been “lost” from Scripture, in a way that nobody has ever been able to. “Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness…because the plain and most precious parts of the Gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by the abominable Church…” Book of Mormon, I Nephi 13:32 . “The desire to compel all men to think alike on all subjects, culminated in the great apostasy…the one faith that Paul and the other apostles set forth, was lost - buried under the mass of uninspired decrees of popes and councils” Charles Taze Russell, Watchtower. “Christianity has mistranslated the scriptures. A spirit caused them to purposely distort the bibles according to their beliefs. Every study bible, every translation of the bible has a different diversification behind it…” E. Spriggs, Ahavah, First Day Teaching, Sus, 4/23/89, p.8.
18 The grammatical approach looks at the meaning of words in their original language, and their etymology. It also takes into consideration their usage at the time the document was written. Then the words need to be considered in their connection with one another. This will deal with such things as their metaphorical and figurative meaning.
The historical approach assumes that the Word of God originated in an historical context, and can best be understood in light of that history. This involves considering the personal, social and religious characteristics of the author, the circumstances peculiar to his time, and the original recipients of the letter.
The theological approach (this pertains only to Biblical interpretation) takes into consideration that the Bible is the Word of God; that it stands as an organic whole and is to be understood within that context; that the Old and New Testament are best understood as type and anti-type; and that not only the clear statements of Scripture comprise its message, but also those that may be deduced from it by employing these methods. See L. Berkhof’s, Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Baker Book House, 1950.
19 The Way International also tries to prove that the Gospels were written in Aramaic as a justification for many of their doctrines. Spriggs attempts to do the same kind of thing in stating that the Messiah would never have been called Jesus, because that is a Greek name, or that none of the disciples would ever speak Greek. However, we possess the New Testament only in Greek in its earliest manuscripts. No Aramaic originals are extant. All the earliest New Testament manuscripts that have been recovered (and they number in the 1,000’s) are in Greek, not Aramaic.
20 Rev. 13:8 is an even clearer example of this disregard for time. Jesus is the Lamb that is “slain before the creation of the world.” John 1:29 is a similar example of this kind of statement. Jesus “takes away the sin of the world.” “Takes” is a present active participle. Yet in space and time this event had not yet occurred. Paul has many examples of this in his writings.
21 Only the great ecumenical councils carried the authority to influence the whole Church. These councils were: Nicea, 325 AD; Constantinople, 381 AD; Ephesus, 431 AD; Chalcedon, 451 AD; Constantinople, 553 AD; Constantinople, 680-681 AD; Nicea, 787 AD.
22 As an aside, this comes from a very interesting teaching that equates the playing of “sports” with setting up a “high place” in one’s heart. This “high place” is an idol that now takes the place of God. “False Prophets encourage them (people in The Twelve Tribes - rp) to play sports. False leaders lead the saints into sin by playing.”
23 The Tribes refers to this assertion in our Analysis as being “sensationalistic” and without any merit on such “scanty evidence.” They then assert five things in their defense. First, the initial quote deals with the Biblical demand to die to selfishness (which does not deal with the obvious parallel between Spriggs’ teachings and the Bible). Their second and fourth objections emphasize that there are abundant Biblical citations in both articles quoted in the Analysis. Building on this, their third objection makes it very clear that anyone reading the two articles would not be “confused as to which was which” (which was Scripture and which was Freepaper). Their fifth objection demonstrates our point, “…we have no qualms about saying that our literature would be words of eternal life to a lost person, and that for one of us to give out a Freepaper without reading it would not only be hypocritical, but would also exhibit a sinful indifference to God’s Word.” However, this is not what Spriggs states. He says the Freepapers are “the Word of God,” not that they contain the message of eternal life for a “lost person.” Also, this teaching was not given to “lost persons.” It was given to “believers” in the Tribes who were told that if they did not read the Freepapers to “..not even imagine that you are saved and have eternal life.” This is all too reminiscent of a quote by Charles Taze Russell of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, “Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years–if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light in two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.”
Our point is simply that Spriggs teachings, reflected in the Freepapers, is elevated to Biblical status.

so do think one night there will ruin a person:cool: neo

ecogirl01
06-25-2006, 21:50
Has anyone stayed here recently and what was your experience?

thanks.

BooBoo
06-27-2006, 00:27
I've known more than a few hippie friends that don't consider the 12 Tribes to be Christian and said they immdiately pegged them for a cult.

Lone Wolf
06-27-2006, 03:26
What is a hippie?

Heater
06-27-2006, 04:30
What is a hippie?

A real thick welding rod. Also referred ti as "Hippie Sticks".

Nightwalker
06-27-2006, 12:10
What is a hippie?
I thought they all died at Altamont.

Ridge
06-27-2006, 13:53
I thought they all died at Altamont.

I saw a lot of Senior Hippies in Height-Ashbury (SF) and they still frequent the coffee houses around the Bay-Area.

Nightwalker
06-27-2006, 14:20
I saw a lot of Senior Hippies in Height-Ashbury (SF) and they still frequent the coffee houses around the Bay-Area.
Sorry, it's just an old, not-funny joke. The "Summer of Love" began with Woodstock and ended with Altamont*.







*Think Rolling Stones on stage, drunk Hell's Angels as security--eating acid like it was candy, one murder and loads of beatings, all caught on film. It was one more 'supersize me' bad trip.

Tha Wookie
06-27-2006, 23:14
IDENTIFYING MARKS OF A



HIGH CONTROL GROUP(CULT)



Can community members make decisions for themselves?

1. Led by Elbert Eugene Spriggs who claims to be an "Apostle" and "the prophet Elijah." Spriggs says of himself, "I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its practicality". (Apostolic Role) He also says, "This is why Elijah must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the church to the Israel of YHWH. The Roman, Greek and Protestant are completely off the foundation (Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today).

2. Elbert Spriggs also claims a "direct pipeline to God", and that he is a special messenger with a unique revelation! "Yoneq (Spriggs) expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course." (Letter from Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb). And in another teaching Spriggs says, "This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday." (Observing The Sabbath).

3. Only Elbert Spriggs is allowed to give original teaching, and his writings are the final authority within the communities. Elbert Eugene Spriggs has no real accountability.

4. Community members must obey the teachings of Spriggs or risk shunning or excommunication. "Everything we hear in the teachings we are required to obey." (Repentance 4/2/91). "If an elder questioned Spriggs' teachings he could lose his place of authority. Dissenting elders were also talked about in the apostolic workers Meetings." Michael Painter, Former Member

5. Every person must submit to the elders who are in submission to the leader (Spriggs). Demand absolute obedience.

6. Inhibits critical thinking so that a "group think" predominates. Followers give up the right to make value judgments of their own. (They cannot reason). Behavior Control

7. There is intense control over community members in the areas of dress, and the regulation of where one lives. "When we are in the Body we have no independent action or movement. AWM 6/12/88) "When God commands us, if we stop to consider the matter to see if there is sufficient reason for us to do it, then we are still living according to the flesh. If the elders say, you need to move to...' and you say, 'what is the reason for that? I'm doing fine here, etc., no matter how good you may do in the flesh, you cannot go past that rebellion" Reasoning 11/I 8/90



A. All men must wear their hair in short ponytails with a long, trimmed beard. All women wear long dresses, skirts or “Sus” pants. Women also have long hair. Unity with the “church” is heavily stressed, usually to the point where it becomes the chief doctrine. Unity is considered to be more important than “Doctrine". (Behavior Control)

B. Food restrictions are also tightly regulated. This is not only in regards to what a member can eat but even his enjoyment of food and how fast he eats. "Lev 11:46…A LAW NEVER CHANGES...There will always be clean and unclean beast, birds, fish. The law for us is to eat what is EATABLE. ALL FOOD IS CLEAN. We must distinguish the unclean and the clean - between the animal that is food and the animal that is not food… (Priesthood Distinguish Between the clean and Unclean). "If it is not a need it is an act of the flesh - like eating when you don't need to. Eating for pleasure is greed. No one who does this will enter the Kingdom, also no one who eats fast- even when you are alone - will enter the kingdom... If we eat hurriedly it means we don't know God or our brothers and sisters.'

C. Twelve tribes’ members live communally where their movement, thoughts and actions are monitored.
8 Emotion control is also practiced within the communities, narrowing a person's emotional responses. The gray areas of life are slowly eliminated, and everything progressively becomes black and white. This manipulation and narrowing of emotions occurs in three ways. –Bob. Pardon NEIRR

9. The Twelve Tribes Community practices brutal information control. Community members are not permitted to read newspapers, books or listen to the radio. This causes the individual member to become highly dependent on the group.

10. The community claims a special exalted status for itself. "We are the light and the hope of the world. We are the only ones who can reclaim this earth for its Maker. We are the only ones whose lives of love and pure devotion, like a bride for her groom, can bring heaven to earth all other attempts to do so are not merely futile, they are evil..”

11. Members are encouraged (strongly) to break ties with family and friends and society. The Community becomes a replacement family and society.
Restricts the ability to leave the group.



Sounds like the baptist church I was raised in. They made my brother stand in the rain because he coudn't answer a question. If you look like Jesus (or anyone else who couldn't be cast in a Wal-Mart ad), they shun you and talk about you behind your back. They preach that we should go to war. They say do not associate with non-believers. They say to obey not only the what Jesus said in the Bible, but anything in the bible that supports their arguments. They also said that you should obey people in authority (especially government) because God put them there. They also said if you do not give the church 10% of your net income, then you are sinning.

Nean
06-28-2006, 01:50
Sounds like the baptist church I was raised in. They made my brother stand in the rain because he coudn't answer a question. If you look like Jesus (or anyone else who couldn't be cast in a Wal-Mart ad), they shun you and talk about you behind your back. They preach that we should go to war. They say do not associate with non-believers. They say to obey not only the what Jesus said in the Bible, but anything in the bible that supports their arguments. They also said that you should obey people in authority (especially government) because God put them there. They also said if you do not give the church 10% of your net income, then you are sinning.
Soo....which part do you disagree with?;)

And Chezikah, did you type all that in 20 mins!?!?:eek: Any time I get past 10 lines I find out I've been logged off.:o I'm not sure I've ever seen a post that long!

Israel
06-28-2006, 02:32
Sounds like the baptist church I was raised in. They made my brother stand in the rain because he coudn't answer a question. If you look like Jesus (or anyone else who couldn't be cast in a Wal-Mart ad), they shun you and talk about you behind your back. They preach that we should go to war. They say do not associate with non-believers. They say to obey not only the what Jesus said in the Bible, but anything in the bible that supports their arguments. They also said that you should obey people in authority (especially government) because God put them there. They also said if you do not give the church 10% of your net income, then you are sinning.


Wookie,
Trust me, this is not your baptist church. I've been around a lot of other control groups and even comparing them to the TT is like comparing Kool-Aid to whiskey.

Nightwalker
06-28-2006, 11:54
Sounds like the baptist church I was raised in.
I feel bad for you. Worse for the leadership there. However, it's nothing like the church that I go to; a bit more like the one I grew up in.

You seem to blame the messenger on this one. Nothing is wrong with the message itself.

James Case
07-23-2006, 13:08
I've lived in the twelve tribes for 10 years, and I just want you all to know that I am totally happy and not in any way under the oppression that others here have described. I think it's silly to listen to these kinds of things about a group of people and not realize that it's a group OF PEOPLE...
What would you say if someone said these kinds of things about you? If you want to argue and blame us for something, please come talk to us in person rather than hiding behind some silly online forum. Why, afterall, do you not see that we are just a bunch of people living together and breaking all the rules of America's rotten culture (if you can even call it a culture). That's why people say such ridiculous stuff about us. We're not the standard American TV-head junk-food-junkies that blend in with Walmart and McDonalds.
We don't hide anything about what we stand for. All this talk about a hidden deceptive dark side is just that...deceptive.
Come see for yourself at one of our festivals...meet our children and find out how they are REALLY treated...ask one of our black men or women and find out how they are REALLY treated...but don't take someone's word for it if all they have to say is how terrible we are and they don't show a hint of love or humility towards anyone in what they say about people.
www.merrymakerscaravan.org
come find out for yourself at one of these events if you really want to know...

James

Ridge
07-28-2006, 02:51
If any of you do stay at the TT Hostel, you can have my Kool-Aid!!!!

fiddlehead
07-28-2006, 07:57
Soo....

And Chezikah, did you type all that in 20 mins!?!?:eek: Any time I get past 10 lines I find out I've been logged off.:o I'm not sure I've ever seen a post that long!

Wow, that dude can type anyway! It took me about 40 minutes to read it. (and i'm still not sure what he said)
He needs to hike the trail and learn how to simplify.
I don't know if it's a cult or not but i think i'd like to check it out just to watch that guy type.

James Case
08-02-2006, 14:33
We don't know her. (I think it's a her, not a he.) But we do want you to know that she doesn't seem to even be a hiker or affiliated with the trail in any way. She just has a bunch of big opinions about our spiritual beliefs. Come see for yourself. Don't take her word for it or even the other people who say they know so much about us.
Please, just have a little understanding that when you're radical in any way, some people are bound to get mad and start firing off their big opinions at you.
We're just a bunch of people trying to find out what's really pleasing to the God of Creation without hurting anyone or being caught up in the mess of the system.
James

Jack Tarlin
08-02-2006, 15:20
Two cents:

In the past few weeks, I've met and talked with dozens of hikers, both Northbounders and Sobos, who stayed at the twelve Tribes hostel this year.

Without exception, they reported good experiences. They further reported that the residents, including the many children, were happy people. Also, while it was evident that this was a religious organization, the residents were very low-key about this with their hiker guests. People that were curious about the group, their history, lifestyle, etc., all had their questions answered. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY I spoke to mentioned being preached at, proselytized, lectured, etc.

I've held back on commenting much about this place because I've never been there, never experienced it first-hand, and have had little or no contact with the residents.

I understand that there are indeed folks on this thread who evidently do have a great deal of knowledge and experience about this group, and I respect their opinions and feelings, but all I know is what I've heard from hikers who were there in recent days.

And what they report is positive.

I respectfully suggest that folks try and keep an open mind about this place til they've experienced it for themselves, and then make up their own minds. But if this place is truly as bad as some folks are making it out to be, well this certainly isn't reflected in the feelings of hikers who were just there.

Wolf - 23000
08-02-2006, 17:02
Two cents:

In the past few weeks, I've met and talked with dozens of hikers, both Northbounders and Sobos, who stayed at the twelve Tribes hostel this year.

Without exception, they reported good experiences. They further reported that the residents, including the many children, were happy people. Also, while it was evident that this was a religious organization, the residents were very low-key about this with their hiker guests. People that were curious about the group, their history, lifestyle, etc., all had their questions answered. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY I spoke to mentioned being preached at, proselytized, lectured, etc.

I've held back on commenting much about this place because I've never been there, never experienced it first-hand, and have had little or no contact with the residents.

I understand that there are indeed folks on this thread who evidently do have a great deal of knowledge and experience about this group, and I respect their opinions and feelings, but all I know is what I've heard from hikers who were there in recent days.

And what they report is positive.

I respectfully suggest that folks try and keep an open mind about this place til they've experienced it for themselves, and then make up their own minds. But if this place is truly as bad as some folks are making it out to be, well this certainly isn't reflected in the feelings of hikers who were just there.

Jack,

I understand were you are coming from, I do. I've stayed with the 12-tribes several days as a none hiker. The folks do appear as pleasent, but appearance are not always what they seem. They took advantage of one of my closes friends in her hour of weakness.

It bothers me a lot when a "religious" group will presure or in my case told their own members to break off all tides with their friends who refuse to join. I had that happen first hand.

Image your close friends, how much they mean to you. Now image them joining a cult such as the 12-tribes and being told to break off all tides with you. Would you want them to do it to someone else?

Those of us that have spoken out against this group here can not stop someone from stopping by or God forbid - become a member. What we can do is warn hikers, what the 12-tribes really stand for.

Wolf

Rain Man
08-02-2006, 20:55
[QUOTE=Wolf - 23000]

Wolf, do I understand that you have thru-hiked 16 times? Per the years of thru-hikes you have listed? That's amazing!!!

Rain Man

.

Nightwalker
08-02-2006, 22:08
[QUOTE=Wolf - 23000]

Wolf, do I understand that you have thru-hiked 16 times? Per the years of thru-hikes you have listed? That's amazing!!!

Rain Man

Year of thru-hiked: AT 89-91,90,91-94,94,93-05

I think that's (1) 89-91 (2) 91-94 (3) 94 (4) 93-05.

The ones with dashes were multi-year sections. Or maybe I'm wrong. :confused:

Rain Man
08-03-2006, 01:35
Year of thru-hiked: AT 89-91,90,91-94,94,93-05

I think that's (1) 89-91 (2) 91-94 (3) 94 (4) 93-05.

The ones with dashes were multi-year sections. Or maybe I'm wrong. :confused:

Oh. Maybe I'm wrong, then. I thought muti-year section hikes were just that, and not thru-hikes.

Well, that's one reason I asked, 'cause it didn't make sense to me. I'm hoping Wolf will clear it up for both of us.

Rain:sunMan

.

BooBoo
08-03-2006, 22:39
I've heard negative things about the 12 Tribes Communities from numerous other sources. I've had very little interaction with these folks so can't make an objective judgement.

Nightwalker
08-03-2006, 23:59
Oh. Maybe I'm wrong, then. I thought muti-year section hikes were just that, and not thru-hikes.

Well, that's one reason I asked, 'cause it didn't make sense to me. I'm hoping Wolf will clear it up for both of us.

Rain:sunMan

.
It doesn't matter to me what someone calls it. 4 times "thru" is quite a good record. :)

davidderush
10-27-2006, 14:33
I would suggest anyone who really wants objective information about this hostel should check out this thread, on which a number of actual hikers who have actually stayed at this hostel, share their actual experiences.

There is nothing quite like first-hand testimony. This thread is filled with the most amazingly bizarre slander....but the experiences of those who have actually stayed there totally contradict the horror stories.

Here is the link:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16090

Sincerely,
David Derush

Undershaft
11-05-2006, 17:02
All 12 tribes members are seemingly perfect whenever they are in view of outsiders, especially at a high profile place such as their hostel in VT. It is a cover. They maintain a community here in Plymouth, MA that is very much under the radar. I have met with current members and about a dozen who have left 12 trribes here in Plymouth. They DO abuse children (I have witnessed this{clarification: verbal abuse}). They DO subjegate women(I have witnessed this). They DO have young children working instead of going to school(again, I have witnessed this firsthand). They Skirt the law and get away with it because of their secrecy(ie: no hard evidence to prosecute). They really are a cult. I met most of the members when they first moved to Plymouth. Just to clarify: I formed my opinions of the 12 tribes before I met the members who defected to the real world (The ex-members just reinforced my own conclusions.). They claimed to have chosen Plymouth so they could be closer to the Pilgrims because they share similar beliefs. The Pilgrim Seperatists were also a cult. A slightly less destructive cult, but a cult none the less. (PM me if you want further info on why I believe the Pilgrim Seperatists were a cult. Its too much to get into right now. I have studied the Pilgrims since childhood, trust me, by all modern definitions they were a cult.). The 12 tribes members will treat you with kindness, but they are the least "holy" of all the religious groups I have encountered in my thirty years. I would never stay at their hostel or do anything to support their community. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

longshank
11-05-2006, 17:05
Stopped in there on my Long trail thru this past summer. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Bunch of weirdos. Stay away from that place.

Wolf - 23000
11-17-2006, 00:46
Oh. Maybe I'm wrong, then. I thought muti-year section hikes were just that, and not thru-hikes.

Well, that's one reason I asked, 'cause it didn't make sense to me. I'm hoping Wolf will clear it up for both of us.

Rain:sunMan

.

Rain Man; Nightwalker,

I complete the AT 5 times, the PCT 3 times, LT 5 times, JMT twice and the CO Trail (COT).

Several of my hikes were straight thru-hikes such as the AT in 90 and 94, the PCT in 93, 96, 97, yo-yo (hiked the trail up and then back) the LT twice in 90 and again in 98.

Other trips were done in sections over several years, such complete the AT in pieces in 89 - 91, 91 - 94 ( I had already completed a thru-hike in 94 then repeated a 300 mile section a second time).

I use to hike a lot but now my current job won't let me hike as much.

Wolf

warren doyle
11-17-2006, 13:33
Congratulations Keith on your prolific hiking exploits.
You have a good heart in a strong body and I always look forward to walking into you on the trail.
Keep the faith and happy trails!

Sly
11-17-2006, 13:44
Oh. Maybe I'm wrong, then. I thought muti-year section hikes were just that, and not thru-hikes.

RainMan:sun

.

They are, although some give credence to 2-3 efforts depending on the circumstances, but "section hiking" isn't an option on your profile.

homebrew
11-18-2006, 02:01
:sun I stayed here for 3 days in July and had a great time in a very relaxing atmosphere. I would highly recommend this hostel to the weary AT traveler looking for some friendly, peaceful and rewarding work for stay off the trail. The meals were the best I had anywhere on the trail! Yes, other hikers and I were invited to the main house for thier religious ceromony (dinner afterwards-really awesome) but hey what an experiance; like visiting another country-once again keep an open mind and have fun. If someone wants to stay and be part of their group thay have made their own decision. I or anyone else were never pressured into doing or believing in anything other than what we came with in our own minds. If I ever get out east again I'll be sure to make the Back Home Again Hostel a must stop!!!

neo
11-18-2006, 08:49
I would suggest anyone who really wants objective information about this hostel should check out this thread, on which a number of actual hikers who have actually stayed at this hostel, share their actual experiences.

There is nothing quite like first-hand testimony. This thread is filled with the most amazingly bizarre slander....but the experiences of those who have actually stayed there totally contradict the horror stories.

Here is the link:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=16090

Sincerely,
David Derush


:) i would stay at the hostel in rutland again in a heartbeat,i plan on visiting the community in chattanooga,i used to go to the yellow deli resturant in nashville in the late 70,s,i wish they would bring that resturant back to nashville,i loved it:cool: neo

NorthCountryWoods
07-16-2010, 13:54
Just was linked to this from the LT forum and wanted to give my experience with the twelve tribes in Island Pond.

I understand they are labeled a "cult", have weird beliefs and a secretive society, however they are harmless and respectful to outsiders.

They were unbelievably helpful to my grandmother after the death of my grandfather. She was not a member, but several members lived on her street and while the family was out of state, they used to shovel her driveway, cut her firewood, bring her food and fresh veggies, repaired her roof and fixed everything. She was very friendly with some of the women and they only once mentioned their church. After that they never mentioned it but continued to be friendly and helpful and made the last 10 years of her life much less lonely.

I'm not religious, but have met and dealt with several of them over the years and would testify that they are not bad people. I'm sure things could be different in the inner circles, but the average outsider enlisting their services can expect to be treated very well.

Panzer1
07-16-2010, 14:32
I understand they are labeled a "cult", have weird beliefs and a secretive society, however they are harmless and respectful to outsiders.

They were unbelievably helpful to my grandmother after the death of my grandfather. She was not a member, but several members lived on her street and while the family was out of state, they used to shovel her driveway, cut her firewood, bring her food and fresh veggies, repaired her roof and fixed everything. She was very friendly with some of the women and they only once mentioned their church. After that they never mentioned it but continued to be friendly and helpful and made the last 10 years of her life much less lonely.

"cults" don't do that kind of stuff for other people. If they did all you say they did then by definition they cannot be a "cult"...

Panzer

Lilred
07-16-2010, 14:41
I thought they lived in their own compound, and not individually in the real world?

weary
07-16-2010, 14:48
"cults" don't do that kind of stuff for other people. If they did all you say they did then by definition they cannot be a "cult"...

Panzer
Your dictionary is different than mine. Good deeds do not a non cult make. Cults span the spectrum of human activities. Neither good deeds, nor bad deeds. Nor a mixture of both, define the term.

Cults, however, largely depend on the eyes of the observer. Most modern religions began as what then conventional society considered cults.

The testimony on this long thread convinces me that this group easily qualifies for cultness, regardless of its good deeds.

Weary

jlore
07-16-2010, 14:52
i worked stayed there for 2 days while doing a section of the long trail last summer. the people there were super nice and only one person tired to tell me about what they believe. the food was awesome thats what i remember most.

JAK
07-16-2010, 16:27
My daughter, in grade 5 this past year, brought home a permission slip to attend a class on personal hygiene and puberty, sponsored by some companies that sell anti-perspirant and feminine hygiene products. There were spearate sessions for boys and girls and I thought it was harmless enough, and I suppose it was, but for the next few weeks she wanted to buy antiperspirant and stuff. Had to deprogram her, remind her that she is perfect just the way God made her, more or less, and not to get too carried away by all the products out there. lol

Don't really see why corporations need to be going into our schools. There was a case a few years ago where Ronald Macdonald was teaching high school kids about nutrition. Principal took alot of flak for that, rightly so.

Damn cults.

Panzer1
07-16-2010, 22:00
calling them a cult is another way a saying that you think your better than them.

Panzer

JAK
07-16-2010, 22:15
I think people are better than corporations.

weary
07-17-2010, 09:58
calling them a cult is another way a saying that you think you're better than them. Panzer
Well, at least different. We all hold different ideas. That's why there are often disagreements on White Blaze. The wise among us think our ideas are better or we would adopt different ideas.

I think the ideas behind most religions are pretty bizarre and those behind the Rutland folks are more bizarre than most.

Weary

TrailSquirrel
07-17-2010, 10:06
Well, at least different. We all hold different ideas. That's why there are often disagreements on White Blaze. The wise among us think our ideas are better or we would adopt different ideas.

I think the ideas behind most religions are pretty bizarre and those behind the Rutland folks are more bizarre than most.

Weary

religion is to cult as member is to non-member

was that an SAT question? :)

Kirby
07-17-2010, 13:09
To each their own.

double d
07-17-2010, 19:50
Just stay at the Long Trail Inn while in the Rutland area, very cool place.

Wolf - 23000
07-17-2010, 20:07
calling them a cult is another way a saying that you think your better than them.

Panzer

Panzer,

That is just the reverse. It is the 12-tribes that tell its members to cut their ties with non-tribe members. I learn that first hand. I've stayed at one of their places several times. Yea they were friendly to me while I was their but when I left told my friend on more than one occasion to cut all relationship with me because I would not join.

Wolf

Panzer1
07-17-2010, 23:07
Panzer,

That is just the reverse. It is the 12-tribes that tell its members to cut their ties with non-tribe members. I learn that first hand. I've stayed at one of their places several times. Yea they were friendly to me while I was their but when I left told my friend on more than one occasion to cut all relationship with me because I would not join.

Wolf

well, OK, maybe they are a cult.

Panzer

Panzer1
07-18-2010, 01:09
while I'm sitting here waiting for my bacon cheese burger, I'm just wondering if their allowed to eat bacon? :confused:

Panzer

Wolf - 23000
07-18-2010, 01:53
while I'm sitting here waiting for my bacon cheese burger, I'm just wondering if their allowed to eat bacon? :confused:

Panzer

Their diet won't when I stayed their. They eat "very health food". Salt for example that lower your blood pressure - at least that is what they said. It tasted different but I don't know the real "health benifit".

Wolf

Panzer1
07-18-2010, 01:57
I'm guessing alcohol is completely out of the question. :eek:

Panzer

Appalachian Tater
07-18-2010, 08:15
Their diet won't when I stayed their. They eat "very health food". Salt for example that lower your blood pressure - at least that is what they said. It tasted different but I don't know the real "health benifit".

WolfProbably Morton Lite Salt (http://www.mortonsalt.com/products/foodsalts/Lite_Salt.htm) which is a blend of table salt (sodium chloride) and potassium chloride. It doesn't really lower your blood pressure on its own but substituting it for regular salt may result in lower blood pressure. Some people need to increase their intake of potassium as well so it can be useful for that. It does taste different.

Blue Jay
07-18-2010, 08:49
Your dictionary is different than mine. Good deeds do not a non cult make. Cults span the spectrum of human activities. Neither good deeds, nor bad deeds. Nor a mixture of both, define the term.

Cults, however, largely depend on the eyes of the observer. Most modern religions began as what then conventional society considered cults.

The testimony on this long thread convinces me that this group easily qualifies for cultness, regardless of its good deeds.

Weary

You know Weary, I have to agree with you on this one. I have always thought the MATC is a cult and now you confirm it.:eek:

JAK
07-18-2010, 09:06
lol
Wikipedia covers the subject well, and the anti-cult movement also.

What doesn't get covered much is when cult movements might be legitimate. Like when a society gets so messed up there might actually be something to be said for forming some sort of semi-closed community, including some alternative spiritual belief system. Personally, I sort of do this on my own, and try to extend it at least as far as my wife and daughter, though without much success. Perhaps if I was more charismatic I would be some sort of cult leader, and there would be alot more people wearing wool and eating oats. Not sure about the black wool dress socks, with shorts and sandals or trail runners. It's not really meant to be part of the movement. It's just something I do personally. Perhaps its just as well I'm not all that charismatic.

weary
07-18-2010, 11:22
....I have always thought the MATC is a cult and now you confirm it.:eek:
One weird member among 600 does not make MATC a cult. The only criteria for being a member is to send the club $15 for the annual dues.

We can always use more members and more 15 dollar checks. You too can join. Just open www.matc.org. It's easy.

Blue Jay
07-19-2010, 08:45
One weird member among 600 does not make MATC a cult. The only criteria for being a member is to send the club $15 for the annual dues.

We can always use more members and more 15 dollar checks. You too can join. Just open www.matc.org. It's easy.

ONE.... I've met dozens of MATC members over the years and every single one of them was (is) weird. I eat at a 12 Tribes establishment and talk to them at length at the Long Trail Festival. I like both groups very much, however the MATC (and you Weary) is far more interested in attracting new members.

weary
07-19-2010, 18:36
ONE.... I've met dozens of MATC members over the years and every single one of them was (is) weird. I eat at a 12 Tribes establishment and talk to them at length at the Long Trail Festival. I like both groups very much, however the MATC (and you Weary) is far more interested in attracting new members.
Which is totally beside the point. Political parties, face book, twitter, every church, even White Blaze, are equally interested in attracting new members, even the Phippsburg Land Trust. We all need members for their money, their participation, and to help us with our role in society.

A desire for members has nothing to do with whether a group is a cult or not. A group that has stringent restrictions on who qualifies to be a new member might make one suspicious about their culthood, but even that is not enough to prove the point.

Weary

Panzer1
07-19-2010, 19:57
I think the central question should be whether peoples lives are improved by belonging to a cult.
If their lives are improved than it is a good cult.
If their lives are diminished than it is a bad cult.

Panzer

weary
07-19-2010, 20:14
I think the central question should be whether peoples lives are improved from belonging to a cult.
If their lives are improved than it is a good cult.
If their lives are diminished than it is a bad cult. Panzer
The problem with that definition, is that one size rarely fits everyone. Some people's lives are improved, I sure by most cults. Other lives are damaged.

I prefer to believe those that have been a part of the group and have left, than to believe those who have been fed good food in hopes of enticing them to consider joining. The testimony of those who have been members of the 12 appostles, and have left, convince me that the group can be dangerous for those that fall under the apostles control.

Weary

Appalachian Tater
07-19-2010, 20:20
The MATC is much more dangerous than the Twelve Tribes because the MATC forces members to hand over money year after year, sometimes for many decades. If the members don't fork over money, they are cast out.

Tinker
07-19-2010, 20:51
There are lots of so-called cults in the world. I think that most people are as much afraid of religion as they are of cults. Individualism is very highly prized in our society. Most of us rebelled at a young age and sought our own identity. Often we ended up with a bunch of other "individualists" in a clique, group, gang - whatever. We tended to be very much alike within the small circle and very much different from outsiders. There must be something to the saying "Different is better" - not that I'm saying that it is, but judging from clothing fashions you might think so - pants so baggy you trip over them and they get caught on your bicycle seat, baseball caps worn every-which-way except for the original way (facing forward to keep the sun out of your eyes).
Being different makes you stand out from the crowd.
Standing out often makes you a target.
There is some substance to most religious cults - Martin Luther was one of the first "cult" leaders. Now, most major "Name Brand" protestant religions can trace a great many of their beliefs to him.
Ramble, ramble, etc. etc. :D

Lone Wolf
07-19-2010, 20:55
There are lots of so-called cults in the world.

catholics. at least you can drink, gamble and confess your sins once a week and get forgiven then go ahead and screw up for the next six days

weary
07-19-2010, 21:19
The MATC is much more dangerous than the Twelve Tribes because the MATC forces members to hand over money year after year, sometimes for many decades. If the members don't fork over money, they are cast out.
I know Appalachian Tater thinks this is a cute comment. If we lived in a rational society, Taters comment would be too absurd to warrant a serious answer. But increasingly we do not. Even things as absurd as Appalachian Tater's claim are increasingly believed by too many Americans.

So let me explain. MATC maintains the Appalachian Trail in Maine. The trail winds 283 miles through some of the wildest country traversed by the Appalachian Trail. This corridor is owned mostly by the National Park Service and state of Maine agencies. MATC accomplishes its maintenance chores by recruiting members and enticing donations, dues and work on the trail from those members. Though many White Blaze members seem to think that the trail can be maintained without either workers or members, and many don't care one way of the other. As long as someone provides them with a trail most hikers seem to care less how it happens.

Anyway, MATC does a good job of maintaining the trail in Maine. It could, and would, do a better job if it had more workers (members) and more dues income or donations of money.

Finally because trail work is increasingly complex as use increases and because governments which now own virtually all the trail corridor, increasingly impose regulations, we can not rely on people maintaining the trail without some rules. So we require that each section of the trail in Maine be the responsibility of a member that agrees to maintain the trail to at least minimal standards.

These members can recruit as many non members as they want to help them, but we require that someone be incharge, who has chosen to be a member of MATC and who agrees to meet minimal standards.

This is why, Tater, we require minimal dues from members for the privilege of being responsbible for the maintenance of a section of the trail in Maine. Members can quit anytime they wish. When they do, others compete to fill the vacancy.

No we are not a cult, though some on White Blaze think us weird, competing as we do for the privilege of spending many days, sometimes weeks, every year maintaining a trail for the public to enjoy.

I think we do it because it is fun to be out in the woods doing constructive work for the common good. Perhaps some of us are simply heeding the call from a statesman who proclaimed many decades ago, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," or words to that affect.

Weary

emerald
07-19-2010, 21:45
You know, you ought to hike to Chimney Pond at least annually. I like what it does to your posting.

Blue Jay
07-20-2010, 08:55
The MATC is much more dangerous than the Twelve Tribes because the MATC forces members to hand over money year after year, sometimes for many decades. If the members don't fork over money, they are cast out.

That is hysterical, especially the dangerous part. Another very dangerous group is the Girl Scouts and their addictive cookies.:welcome

weary
07-20-2010, 16:20
"The MATC is much more dangerous than the Twelve Tribes because the MATC forces members to hand over money year after year, sometimes for many decades. If the members don't fork over money, they are cast out."

That is hysterical, especially the dangerous part. .....
Yup. All MATC members must be shrieking with laughter. Ah the hilarity of being called a weird and dangerous cult, that casts out members for not paying their dues.

JAK
07-20-2010, 17:14
Maine is weird. I hope it stays weird forever. I think the weirdness is at least in some degree due to the influence of their nearest neighbours to the North, Quebec, and East, New Brunswick. Your very welcome thanks. Most of its weirdness is home grown though, as it should be.

Keep doing your part weary. Maintain that weirdness. Add to it as much as you can.
One weird member and one weird mile and one weird acre at a time.

bfitz
07-20-2010, 19:29
Yeah, it's great being catholic! We can dance too! I sure do miss those indulgences for sale. Those were the good old days.

Religions are ALL funny.

Baptists don't recognize the pope, protestants don't recognize the apocrypha, mormons don't recognize eachother at the liquor store, and catholics don't recognize eachother at the abortion clinic. What's with all the lach of recognition?

bfitz
07-20-2010, 19:33
A priest and a rabbi are walking down the street together....oh...never mind, you already know how this one ends....

weary
07-20-2010, 19:54
A priest and a rabbi are walking down the street together....oh...never mind, you already know how this one ends....
I don't. I think you have left out the protestant minister.

bfitz
07-20-2010, 19:57
I don't. I think you have left out the protestant minister.Well the protestant minister's in the next town buying porn.

weary
07-20-2010, 20:03
Well the protestant minister's in the next town buying porn.
No, no. They all do that. I mean in terms of the joke.

Lone Wolf
07-20-2010, 20:14
A priest and a rabbi are walking down the street together....oh...never mind, you already know how this one ends....


I don't. I think you have left out the protestant minister.


Well the protestant minister's in the next town buying porn.


No, no. They all do that. I mean in terms of the joke.

i tried to make a light-hearted joke about religion yesterday and Tarlin took offense and had it deleted. y'all should back off

Skidsteer
07-20-2010, 20:49
i tried to make a light-hearted joke about religion yesterday and Tarlin took offense and had it deleted. y'all should back off

Wouldn't be fair to back off. Nobody's made fun of Buddhists yet.

Lone Wolf
07-20-2010, 20:54
Wouldn't be fair to back off. Nobody's made fun of Buddhists yet.

jack whined and in a matter of minutes it was gone

weary
07-20-2010, 20:59
i tried to make a light-hearted joke about religion yesterday and Tarlin took offense and had it deleted. y'all should back off
I understand. Truth is becoming the rarest of permitted speech.

Panzer1
07-20-2010, 21:08
jack whined and in a matter of minutes it was gone

yea, well with over 23,000 posts I'm surprised you missed it so much.

Panzer

Lone Wolf
07-20-2010, 21:09
I understand. Truth is becoming the rarest of permitted speech.

and what i said was most truthy :)

Alligator
07-20-2010, 21:13
It would probably be best at this time to return to the thread topic.

Thanks.

Lone Wolf
07-20-2010, 21:17
Some thru-hikers were raving about the new free hostel in Rutland. The keepers were warm and friendly, the food is great, etc.Smoothies, soups, home-made bread. It's good that this religious group has seen fit to provide hospitality to hikers, but a basic internet search turned up some controversial information about their worldwide fellowship and "apostle".


It would probably be best at this time to return to the thread topic.

Thanks.

well this would be on topic
http://www.twelvetribes.com/controversies/island-pond-raid-video.html

Nean
07-21-2010, 04:38
and what i said was most truthy :)


Happy 24,000 post LW:)

bfitz
07-21-2010, 13:43
jack whined and in a matter of minutes it was goneWhining and mocking are two very different things. Mock all you want, but I believe this website's motto is "No Sniveling"....

Lone Wolf
07-21-2010, 13:45
but I believe this website's motto is "No Sniveling"....

no. that's hikinghq.net

bfitz
07-21-2010, 13:54
no. that's hikinghq.net

Well, it's still a good rule. And I first heard it here...

Funny thing is...I was in the Hanover library right next to ol' Mr. Apoplexy when he was deleted. I laughed and laughed....:p

double d
07-21-2010, 14:31
Okay, it's just my opinion, but why would anyone want to stay at the twelve tribes hostel when you can take "the bus" to the Inn at Long Trail and have a great room, meal and hang out with other hikers and at a low price?

Appalachian Tater
07-21-2010, 17:18
I know Appalachian Tater thinks this is a cute comment. If we lived in a rational society, Taters comment would be too absurd to warrant a serious answer. But increasingly we do not. Even things as absurd as Appalachian Tater's claim are increasingly believed by too many Americans.


Weary, I still think it is too absurd to warrant a serious answer. Anyone who thinks the MATC is a cult is beyond reasoning with. However, it did give you a chance to make a pitch for the MATC so it was a good thing that I made the comment.

BTW, it certainly is true that if you don't fork over money every year that they will cast you out. I noticed that you didn't try to refute that!

njordan2
07-21-2010, 18:16
They sound like decent people. Hippies. But decent people.

BigFoot2002
07-21-2010, 19:27
Take it from this old hippie, they may look like hippies, but they ain't hippies.

I stayed there and noticed a few things. Guys are in charge there. Everybody works, but the guys give the orders. Never saw a woman tell a guy what to do. Nobody ever goes anywhere alone.

A young guy I was hiking with stayed a couple of days and was invited to one of their weddings. What he said he witnessed was a guy much older than him marrying a girl younger than him. I asked his opinion of the place. He used the word "cult" in his reply.

I found the Inn at the Long Trail to be more expensive than the motel I stayed at in Rutland, and the beers there much more expensive than at the bars I found in Rutland.

Also in town I found the only Wal Mart I have ever seen in the middle of a small town, with a good Chinese buffet right next door. Cheap and frequent bus service back to the trail.

Blue Jay
07-21-2010, 19:38
A young guy I was hiking with stayed a couple of days and was invited to one of their weddings. What he said he witnessed was a guy much older than him marrying a girl younger than him. I asked his opinion of the place. He used the word "cult" in his reply.

Let me get this straight the "guy" stayed there a couple of days. People do not usually stay places they don't like for a day, let alone a couple. So he liked it. Then they were nice enough to invite him to a wedding. Now when someone I don't approve of invites me to a wedding, I don't go and I believe this is common human behavior. Yet this "guy" goes and then promply insults the people in the wedding. Not exactly the type of "guy" who I would want an opinion from.

Blue Jay
07-21-2010, 19:44
Nobody ever goes anywhere alone.

Before you wrote this did you think about the words. Nobody (not one single person, ever (you were there that long), and anywhere (you have amazing vision).
Therefore they all go to the bathroom together, now that's a Cult.:banana

Blue Jay
07-21-2010, 19:46
By the way I'm trying hard to come up with something insulting and funny about Buddhists, but I've got nothing.

Skidsteer
07-21-2010, 20:00
By the way I'm trying hard to come up with something insulting and funny about Buddhists, but I've got nothing.

A hiker is on one side of a raging river. There are no bridges. There is no ferry.

He shouts out to the Buddhist on the opposite bank. “How do I get to the other side?” The Buddhist shouts back: “You are on the other side.”

BigFoot2002
07-21-2010, 21:18
First time I met the guy he was barefoot in the 100 wilderness SOBO. His shoes had fallen apart 3 days into his hike and he was completely at ease. Found out he was right out of high school and heading to a prominent university to study ancient languages and he was looking forward reading the classics in ancient greek. Even though he was half my my age I asked his opinions about many things when we ran into each other down the trail. I found very good company, a young man with an active, open, sharp, and curious mind. In a word, this young guy impressed me.

Why did he stay there? I didn't ask him that. No doubt they were very nice and he was curious. But I have no doubt that his opinion was just that - his opinion.

They were very nice to me when I stayed there. I mopped the restaurant from front to back as my work for stay. I mopped until a guy said enough. That it was always a guy in charge of any decision making process it seemed.

They had a booth at the county(?) fair when I was there. A bunch of us had a really good time, walked around for hours eating and taking it all in. Over the course of the evening, I noticed that there was never only one person in the booth, and I didn't see any 12 tribes people walking around the fair, or around town, alone. Maybe they did, and I didn't notice, but they have a rather unique look, the guys with beards, and I think they make a lot of their own clothes.

I hiked through Rutland in 02, 04, and 07. Stayed at 12 tribes once. Spent a few days there. My opinions of 12 tribes are based on my experiences in Rutland and on the input of others I hiked with whose opinions I value who also stayed there.

I invite others to also stay there, and form their own opinions.

I will be at a moderately priced motel in town next time I stay in Rutland.

JAK
07-22-2010, 02:27
How long has this community existed? What got them started?
Which of the 12 are they supposedly?

JAK
07-22-2010, 03:06
OK. So I guess they are all 12 of them. Interesting. Seems a little confusing because 3 of the original 12 tribes of Israel still exist. So I guess they are using the names metaphorically, or allegorically, or something like that. Anyhow, they seem rather large and well established. Still somewhat young, going on 40 years now. Are they a cult? Well, yeah, I suppose. What organization isn't? Not my cup of tea, but I like alot of their ideas. Just not sure why they took the names of tribes already spoken for. That would be somewhat like starting your own United States of America, in China, or perhaps your own nation of Albanians, or something like that. Anyhow, I didn't read all their stuff so I can't really judge them. There are alot of religions, and cultures, out there. This one is rather young, that's all. I like older cultures and religions myself. I guess in that sense I am conservative.

http://www.twelvetribes.com/whereweare/us/index.html#yehudah

JAK
07-22-2010, 03:30
Wikipedia article is a little easier to read...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Tribes_communities

JAK
07-22-2010, 04:13
Anyhow, I wish them all well, I guess.
It's the children you have to think about, but who has all the answers?
You just have to h

JAK
07-22-2010, 04:15
You just have to hope they are not too much more whacked out than the rest of us. Lot to be said for home schooling. Much I don't like about our schools, and society at large. I'm pretty whacked out myself though. Kid's are pretty resilient though. They just need some room to breath.

Wolf - 23000
07-22-2010, 22:33
You just have to hope they are not too much more whacked out than the rest of us. Lot to be said for home schooling. Much I don't like about our schools, and society at large. I'm pretty whacked out myself though. Kid's are pretty resilient though. They just need some room to breath.

JAK,


They are to the extremely WHACKED!!! I agree with you, our in general our public school is nothing I would be proud of, but that in a large part due to their parents not wanting to help educate their kids at home.


On the flip side, unlike the 12-tribes, I don't know of any school that has been fine for volitions of child labor laws.

Wolf

JAK
07-23-2010, 04:15
I agree with you that they are whacked, but most North Americans are whack jobs in one form or another. Just sayin'. In fact, not be

It's the price of freedom.

JAK
07-23-2010, 04:16
I was going to say not being whacked in some form or other would be un-American.

Nean
07-23-2010, 04:19
I was going to say not being whacked in some form or other would be un-American.

Easy for you to say, eh?:D

JAK
07-23-2010, 21:09
Yeah. 'cause we're so normal eh.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsgVspgy184